The death cap mushroom has been found on a boulevard in Greater Victoria. (Contributed by Adolf and Oluna Ceska)

Disease control warns mushroom pickers against death cap

Pickers should be on look out and report the extremely poisonous mushroom

As the weather begins to cool and the rain falls more frequently, mushrooms pickers throughout the province have begun foraging and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control calls for caution.

The death cap mushroom is not native to B.C. but can be found in urban environments including Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island. In 2016 a toddler died after eating death caps on the Island.

RELATED: Victoria boy dies after ingesting poisonous mushroom

“We’ve had 30 calls between June and August about mushroom exposures and 16 in September alone,” said Raymond Li, pharmacist with the B.C. Drug and Poison Control Centre.

“Now that the rains are here, people are seeing mushrooms all over the place. The volume of calls we get about mushrooms is really dependent on the weather.”

Most of the calls poison control come from people who are worried about children or pets who may have taken a bite out of a mushroom they found, according to Li. He suggests taking the whole mushroom or careful pictures, in order for it to be properly identified.

The organization also gets calls from people who go out foraging for mushrooms and either have second thoughts after eating wild mushrooms or begin to feel unwell.

RELATED: Deadly mushrooms found in Greater Victoria

“I generally caution against foraging in urban environments because of the added risk,” said Paul Kroeger, pas president of the Vancouver Mycological Society.

“If you’re foraging, go to a natural forest and go with an expert; there are lots of mushroom clubs, events, and festivals.”

The death cap mushroom contains toxins that damage the liver and kidney, and people can experience the following symptoms within six to 12 hours:

  • Cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Dehydration

After 24 hours, people may feel better but the toxins may continue to damage vital organs. A second wave of nausea will occur within 72 hours after eating the mushroom, resulting in organ failure.

What to do if you find death cap mushrooms growing:

  • Note the location, take careful photographs, and make a report
  • Remove the mushrooms and dispose of them
  • Touching death caps is not a risk but gloves are recommended
  • Do not dispose of death cap mushrooms in your home compost
  • Dispose of them in the municipal compost (green bins) or bag them and put them in the garbage
  • Wash your hands after removing the mushrooms

If you suspect mushroom poisoning, call poison control immediately at 1-800-567-8911.



ragnar.haagen@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

It’s a sign for Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii signs will be bi-lingual to respect language

Skidegate man arrested following Queen Charlotte RCMP investigation

Man faces possible drugs and weapons charges

Cannabis and vaping 101

RCMP invite community to engage in cannabis and vaping dialogue workshops

Council Briefs | Village of Queen Charlotte: January 6

Grant writing, flood mapping, and the Seventh St. cleanup on the agenda

Pair of Haida Gwaii sailings cancelled due to windstorm

MV Kwuna will be parked due to the adverse weather

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Coastal GasLink work camp in Vanderhoof gets approved by the ALC

The work camp behind the Vanderhoof airport was first rejected by the commission in October last year

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read