POISONOUS AND HALLUCINOGENIC MUSHROOMS
by Michael W. Beug Email: email@example.com
The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA
Cortinarius gentilis, shown here, was thought to contain potentially lethal levels of a very different toxin, orellanine, whose first noticeable effects are delayed for more than one day and may not appear for up to 21 days, long after the connection with a mushroom poisoning is likely to be established. It is currently believed that the only mushroom in North America containing orellanine is Cortinarius rubellus, which has long been known under several different species names including Cortinarius rainierensis, Cortinarius speciosissimus, and Cortinarius orelloides. The first symptoms typically appear 36 hours to 14 days after ingestion and are nonspecific gastrointestinal and neurological problems including intestinal upset, fever, muscle pain, chills and headache followed by a phase of excessive thirst accompanied by excessive urination and severe pain in lumbar region. This is followed by greatly reduced urine production. Kidney insufficiency may become permanent. While poisonings from Class B toxins (Poisindex IA) are suspected from North America, none have been proven. However in Europe, there have been hundreds of well-documented cases. Prior to the development of kidney transplant and dialysis there was a 15% mortality rate. Now deaths are extremely rare.