Wild mushroom exposures in Florida, 2003-2007

Kristina W. Kintziger, Prakash Mulay, Sharon Watkins, Jay Schauben, Richard Weisman, Cynthia Lewis-Younger, Carina Blackmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective. Exposure to wild mushrooms can lead to serious illness and death. However, there is little information on the epidemiology of mushroom exposures nationwide, as there is no specific surveillance for this outcome. We described mushroom exposures in Florida using available data sources.Methods. We performed a population-based study of mushroom exposure calls to the Florida Poison nformation Center Network (FPICN) and cases of mushroom poisoning reported in hospital inpatient and emergency department (ED) data from 2003 through 2007.Results. There were 1,538 unduplicated mushroom exposures reported during this period, including 1,355 exposure calls and 428 poisoning cases. Mostexposures reported to FPICN occurred in children ≥6 years of age (45%) and males (64%), and most were unintentional ingestions (60%). Many exposures resulted in no effect (35%), although 21% reported mild symptoms that resolved rapidly, 23% reported prolonged/systemic (moderate) symptoms, and 1% reported life-threatening effects. Most calls occurred when in or en route to a health-care facility (43%). More than 71% of poisonings identified in hospital records were managed in an ED, and most occurred in young adults 16-25 years of age (49%), children ≥6 years of age (21%), adults ≥25 years of age (21%), and males (70%). No deaths were reported.Conclusions. Combined, these data were useful for describing mushroom exposures. Most exposures occurred in males and in young children (≥6 years of age) and young adults (16-25 years of age), with 78% resulting in contact with a health-care facility. Education should target parents of young childrenespecially during summer, when mushrooms are more abundant-and young adults who are likely experimenting with mushrooms for their potential allucinogenic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-851
Number of pages8
JournalPublic health reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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