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Poisonous Mushrooms Popping Up All Over Colorado Due To Wet Weather

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WOODLAND PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – With Colorado’s recent wet weather mushrooms are popping up all over the state. Now a concerned father is issuing a warning after his daughter ate a wild mushroom and was hospitalized.

The teenager didn’t know any better when she apparently put a red mushroom in her mouth, and she got very, very sick.

An amanita muscaria mushroom (credit: stanford.edu)

An amanita muscaria mushroom (credit: stanford.edu)

Last Friday, Alexandra Stone was hooked to a ventilator. Doctors were monitoring her brain activity.

“She was in pretty grave danger and if it had taken any longer to get her there (hospital) that she might have died,” Alexandra’s father Kevin Stone said.

Kevin Stone says his family was on a weekend getaway in Pike National Forest. Alexandra is special needs and very curious. Apparently the 16-year-old picked up a red mushroom and put it in her mouth. Her father says minutes later she appeared catatonic.

“She started having some seizure type activity,” Kevin Stone said.

She was rushed to Memorial Hospital. Her dad says her blood pressure and body temperature both dropped to dangerous levels. It took a day and a half to stabilize her.

Mushroom expert Brian Barzee believes the teenager ate an amanita muscaria. They grow under pine trees and are common in the area of Pike National Forest where the Stone family was.

“This has killed dogs. This is not a mushroom to experiment with any way whatsoever,” Barzee said.

“These are the brightly-colored mushrooms you see in cartoons. The Smurfs lived under them. You don’t want to eat them,” Dr. Eric Lavonas of the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center said.

Lavonas showed CBS4’s Health Specialist Kathy Walsh a dried amanita muscaria and issued a warning.

A dried amanita muscaria mushroom (credit; CBS)

A dried amanita muscaria mushroom (credit; CBS)

“I always tell people, ‘If you’re going to pick mushrooms, do it at your local grocery store, it’s not worth the risk,’ “Lavonas said.

Kevin Stone agrees.

“With as much rain as we’ve had they’re growing all over the place, so just be really careful,” he said.

LINKS: Pikes Peak Mycological Society | Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center

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