Suspected 'death cap' mushroom found on Vancouver Island, health officials warn
Published Thursday, October 29, 2020 5:57PM PDT
Death cap mushrooms are seen in this photo from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website.
VANCOUVER -- Health officials on Vancouver Island are warning the public after the discovery of a suspected "death cap" mushroom in the Comox Valley.
Island Health said in a news release Thursday that a single mushroom, believed to be a death cap, "was discovered fruiting in a residential area just south of Filberg Park in Comox" earlier this week.
Lab confirmation of the discovery is still pending, the health authority said, adding that a provincial forest pathologist had inspected the mushroom and saying it is "strongly suspected" to be a death cap.
The invasive species is extremely toxic and especially dangerous to children and pets, the health authority said, noting that a Victoria toddler died after ingesting one of the mushrooms in 2016.
Island Health said death cap mushrooms can be confused with some edible mushrooms, and foragers should not eat wild mushrooms if they are at all uncertain about the species they have picked.
Anyone who suspects they have eaten a poisonous mushroom should go to the nearest hospital, call the BC Drug and Poison Information Centre at 1-800-567-8911 or call 911, and keep a sample of the mushroom for testing, Island Health said.
More information on death cap mushrooms can be found on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website.