Poisonings in the Ukraine

Stephen P. Bentivenga bentiven at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Wed Oct 2 16:37:21 EST 1996


Mycophiles:

This morning my local newspaper (the Oshkosh Northwestern) printed a very
brief article which it obtained from the AP wire.  The article, in it's
entirety, is below:

"Poisonous mushrooms have killed 92 people and left more than 1,100
hospitalized in the deadliest mushroom season in years.  Doctors blame the
surge in poisonings on economic hardships, which are forcing more and more
Ukrainians to search for wild mushrooms to eat.  Poisonings frequently occur
when people mistake a deadly white mushroom common in Ukraine for harmless
champignons."

Can anyone verify the truthfullness of this report?  What is the fungus (or
fungi) involved.  At first I thought of Amanita phalloides, but the text
mentions a "white" mushroom.  What about Amanita virosa, A. ocreata, or a
similar species??  Do these occur in the Ukraine?
____________________________________________________________
                                
      ___/^,       Stephen P. Bentivenga, Ph.D.
     ;      ^'--.    Department of Biology & Microbiology
    :            -:    University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
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  /                  `\    Oshkosh, WI  54901-8640  
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    ^\           UWO  ;   Email:  bentiven at uwosh.edu
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