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'Violent stomach illness': Toads and mushrooms pose Arizona health threat during monsoon

Monsoon season brings on an additional danger in the Valley: toxic toads and mushrooms.

PHOENIX — Monsoon is in full swing in the Valley of the Sun, and the rain storms are bringing new dangers: toxic toads and mushrooms.

Sonoran Desert toads are also become more common after heavy rains. Dogs also may become curious and try to eat the toxic toads, doctors warn.

Along with the toads, some not-so-magic mushrooms called Clorophyllum molybdites, or “yard mushrooms,” can cause violent stomach illness if eaten.

“This is the most common mushroom found in Maricopa County and can cause severe gastrointestinal distress for both humans and animals,” according to Maureen Roland with the Banner Poison Center.

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Doctors said the fungi commonly grows on grassy lawns and look similar to edible mushrooms.

“In higher elevations, there are more dangerous mushroom species that can cause severe illness if ingested, including liver or kidney failure,” Dr. Daniel Brooks said. “In general, it is best not to pick wild mushrooms to eat unless you are a trained, professional mycologist.”

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