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

Revelstoke skiers bring home three gold medals from BC Winter Games

The games were held in Fort St. John Feb. 20-23

Grizzlies playing Kamloops in round one of playoffs

They finished the regular season with 39 wins and six losses

Snow tonight in Revelstoke area

Roads and weather for Feb. 23

Liam’s Lowdown: Revelstoke’s ‘trashy’ future

The CSRD peg the cost of the new composting facility at roughly $500,000

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

Hidden treasures of the Okanagan’s Curiosity Shop

A set of celluloid topped glove and collar boxes are some of the many interesting finds in Keremeos

Vernon protest draws close to 40 people

Earth Strike Vernon holds peaceful rally in support of Wet’suwet’en people and land

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Teck withdraws application for Frontier mine, citing discourse over climate change

The Vancouver-based company said it will take a $1.13-billion writedown on the Frontier project in Alberta

B.C. VIEWS: Pipeline dispute highlights need for clarity

As the B.C. treaty process grinds on, uncertainty remains

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Most Read