"The carefree picking and eating of mushrooms is incomprehensible," said Marian Kaščak, head physician of Trenčín hospital, after treating five seriously ill patients who had picked and eaten the deadly Green Cap mushroom.
In separate incidents over the July 24-25 weekend, a woman and her son, a married couple and an elderly woman all fell ill after eating the Green Cap, or Death Cap, mushroom (Amanita phalloides) which grows all around Slovakia. It is easily distinguished from its edible cousin (Agaricus) in that its gills are white rather than pinkish-brown.
"This situation happens every year, and it seems that people just do not learn," said Kaščak. "They pick mushrooms they do not know, and even let their children eat them. Then it takes extraordinary efforts of doctors to save their lives when they are poisoned, especially in the case of the Green Cap."