The death cap is not native to Canada and was brought to B.C. on the roots of imported European trees. (Adolf and Oluna Ceska)

World’s most poisonous mushroom spreading in B.C.

The death cap mushroom is increasingly found in urban areas such as parks

The world’s most poisonous mushroom is spreading in British Columbia, according to a recent article in the B.C. Medical Journal.

The publication is alerting doctors, nurses and pharmacists to the dangers of people consuming Amanita phalloides, commonly known as the death cap mushroom, as well as to their roles in preventing related deaths.

READ MORE: Victoria toddler dies after ingesting poisonous mushroom

“Healthcare providers need to be aware of the risk, as prompt recognition and appropriate management are critical for positive patient outcomes,” said authors of the article, Maxwell Moor-Smith, Raymond Li and Omar Ahmad.

The death cap is not native to Canada and was brought to B.C. on the roots of imported European trees.

Since the first death cap specimen was found and collected in B.C. in 1997, there have been numerous sightings of the mushrooms in the Fraser Valley, southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

The Vancouver Mycological Society reports it has been found growing with street trees or in parks and institutional landscaping, “and therefore mushrooms growing in one’s own yard may potentially be deadly.”

The article reports the death cap is responsible for 90 per cent of the world’s mushroom-related deaths. It grows in B.C. from June to November and can take on a different appearance during its stages of growth.

Recent cases of poisoning in B.C. illustrate how it can be mistaken from other edible mushrooms.

In 2003, a Victoria man consumed a death cap he thought was a puffball mushroom and was taken to hospital. In 2008, a woman in Vancouver ate what she thought was a paddy straw mushroom but was in fact a death cap, and was hospitalized as well.

More recently, a three-year-old boy in Victoria died after consuming a death cap found on a residential street in 2016.

It can take up to six hours after consuming a death cap to show symptoms of intoxication.



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Exhibit showcases work of veteran taxidermist on Cortes Island

Dozens of mounted animals on display at Wild Cortes

Stranded hikers rescued by helicopter on Mt. Schoen

Campbell River Search and Rescue used hoist operation to rescue trio

Fire chief urges residents to check smoke detectors following structure fires in Campbell River

Smoke alarms failed in three incidents, including fire that destroyed second storey of home: Doherty

Coroner’s inquest into fatal police shooting in Port Hardy begins in Campbell River

James Reginald Butters, 24, killed in 2015 after RCMP responded to call of male uttering threats

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ in North Campbell River

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Island manslaughter suspect found not guilty in Supreme Court

Court accepts accused’s argument of self-defence for 2017 incident in Courtenay

Most Read