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Wild Mushrooms

Why is the death cap mushroom (scientific name Amanita phalloides) so dangerous?



Eating death cap mushrooms may lead to liver and kidney damage as well as death. 

In October 2016, a child died after eating a poisonous mushroom that was picked in downtown Victoria, BC.  This species of Amanita mushroom, also called the Death Cap mushroom, is in our city and urban environment.  It is not known to be found growing wild in the forests.  This mushroom was imported on the roots of trees planted in boulevards in some cities like Victoria and Vancouver.  We do not know if it is also in other areas of the province.  This mushroom looks alike to Asian straw mushrooms (Volvariella volvacea), and other common Asian varieties of edible Amanita species, such as Amanita princeps.  To learn more about what common Pacific Northwest mushrooms look like, edible and deadly, visit this Field Guide

IF YOU SUSPECT YOU HAVE EATEN THE DEATH CAP MUSHROOM GO TO EMERGENCY AND CALL THE DRUG AND POISON INFORMATION CENTRE IMMEDIATELY AT 1-800-567-8911 – 24 hours and services in 150 languages.


Symptoms include low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, liver failure, kidney failure.  Gastrointestinal distress (nausea/vomiting) begins ~8-12 hours after ingestion.  After up to 24 hours have passed, symptoms seem to disappear, victim can feel fine for up to 72 hours.  Liver and kidney damage symptoms start 3-6 days after mushrooms were eaten.

Early treatment is important.  Contact medical authorities immediately.  To speed up treatment and improve the outcome, bring specimens of the mushroom with you to the hospital and information on the specific location where the mushrooms were found.

You can find more information about Amanita phalloides death cap mushroom in this factsheet and invasive species profile.  The profile lists what kinds of trees are known to be associated with this mushroom.

If you are concerned about death caps in your community, please use this warning poster, which has translations in many languages. Death cap mushroom caution poster


 

‎Please report sightings of death caps to the online invasive species reporting form maintained by the BC Ministry of Forestry.  More info can be found here: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/invasive-species/index.htm and http://www.reportaweedbc.ca/



Locations of death caps are mapped by UBC on their              e-flora site.  You can find many species of plants and mushrooms here. Use this link for death caps

 

In recent years DPIC has noticed an increase in the number of calls from people who have become ill after eating wild mushrooms that were foraged (picked) outside. The mushrooms can be found on lawns, in parks, along roadsides, or in the forest.  The number of calls is often dependant on the amount of rain received.  During months with high rain, more wild mushrooms will grow.  In the chart shown here, annual precipitation in Vancouver is shown for comparison.  

  this info.JPG

Contact us

Food Protection Services  604.707.2440
NCC for Environmental Health  604.829.2551
Poison Control Centre  604.682.5050 (local) or 1.800.567.8911 (toll free)



SOURCE: Wild Mushrooms ( )
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