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

Month-long water quality advisory still in effect for Rupert residents

The City of Prince Rupert recommends those with weakened immune systems boil water prior to use

Jennifer Rice North Coast MLA seeks re-election

Northwest politicians announce intent on elections

Heart of the City – Jason Scherr

Try and Try again - Prince Rupert Seamen Rugby Club

No COVID-19 public exposures in the North Health Region at this time

Northern Health Authority issued a statement on Sept. 17

Tax penalties of 10 per cent to be applied by City if not paid on time

Prince Rupert Property taxes for certain non-residential properties are due by Sept. 30

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

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

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

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