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

RCMP investigating break-and-enter attempts in Fernie

Police are investigating four reports of attempted break-and-enters at the condos and… Continue reading

Fernie food share program thrives under new partnership

Four times the amount of food is being saved from landfill under… Continue reading

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

Fernie skier braves extremes to find ‘soul line’

Caleb Brown named male champion at backcountry ski competition

Avalanche warning issued for Lizard Range, Flathead near Fernie

Warmer weather to increase avalanche risk: Avalanche Canada

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

Dead sea lion discovered on Hornby Island shoreline

Reports indicate animal was shot in the head

Celina Caesar-Chavannes quits Liberal caucus, sits as independent MP

The Whitby, Ont., MP has been a vocal supporter of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott

Woman punched on the sidelines of B.C. soccer game

Both involved were watching the U21 game in West Vancouver from the sidelines when things got heated

Catch-up immunization aims to stamp out B.C. measles resurgence

Vaccination records to be checked at B.C. schools next fall

Paramedic staff shortage at critical level: B.C. union

A number of units were out of service due to lack of staffing in Lower Mainland, union says

B.C. dairy farmers say federal budget not enough to cut losses from USMCA

Concerns raised over vague details, funding access and impacts on growth

Most Read