14 people have been severely poisoned by death cap mushrooms in Northern California within the last few months, some so severe they needed liver transplants to survive. Officials are now urging extreme caution to wild mushroom hunters.

People often mistake poisonous mushrooms for edible mushrooms, but the high number of poisonings in Northern California recently is alarming.

According to a “Morbidity and Mortality” report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these string of poisonings began popping up December after mushrooms experts noticed a large bloom of death caps in November.

The worst case of poisoning occurred in Salinas, California, when a woman was given the death cap mushrooms by a forager. She cooked the toxic mushrooms for herself, her husband, and her 18-month-old daughter, her sister and a friend.

“It was like a bus accident occurring right in front of the hospital,” Dr. Todd Mitchell told The Santa Cruz Sentinel.

The whole family fell ill and the toddler and the woman’s sister needed liver transplants. The toddler also suffered permanent neurological damage.

Amatoxin poisoning – the poison in the mushrooms – is an unrecognized worldwide public health crisis, and these mushrooms wipe out entire families across the globe every year. After ingesting the amatoxin, it begins killing off cells in rapid fashion, eventually shutting down every organ in your body.

Below is a video that explains how to avoid and identify death cap mushroom poisoning:

Be safe out there!

Image is a screenshot from the Yahoo video

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