CANBERRA – Two people hospitalised in Canberra after eating poisonous mushrooms at the weekend remain in a critical condition and were yesterday en route to a Sydney facility for treatment.

A third person who was with them was being treated at Canberra Hospital.

The trio, who cannot be named, went to Calvary Hospital on New Year’s Day after becoming ill from eating death cap mushrooms, a spokesman for ACT Health said yesterday.

Two of the three were in a critical condition and were yesterday being transferred to a Sydney facility.

The third, whose condition has not been disclosed, was taken to Canberra Hospital from Calvary Hospital.

A spokesman for Calvary Hospital said admissions involving mushroom poisoning were rare.

ACT Health said death cap mushrooms were usually found in Canberra in autumn, near oak trees, but recent summer rain had encouraged their growth.

Fully grown versions have silky smooth caps, and the colour varies from white to greenish-brown.

Michael Hall, director of Canberra Hospital’s emergency department, said: “The gills are white – unlike the pink or brown gills of the common field mushroom.”

He said people should not eat any mushrooms unless certain that they were not poisonous.

In the past decade, there have been three fatalities associated with death cap mushrooms in the ACT.

In the same period, there have been around a dozen reported cases of poisoning.

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