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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Trail Kiwanians wrap up $10,000 hospital donation

The new KBRH emergency department opened its doors a few weeks ago

LeRoi Foundation donates to hospital in Trail

$5,000 comes to KBRH via Community Foundations Canada and ECSF

Trail market goes garlic

The event goes Saturday in downtown Trail from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kootenay teachers’ union going to labour relations board over COVID-19 related work conditions

Union issues open letter to premier, education minister, health minister and Dr. Bonnie Henry.

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read