A three-year-old boy who ate a “death cap” mushroom found in downtown Victoria has died, Island Health says.
The Island boy ingested the deadly mushroom after foraging with his family on a residential property last week. He was treated at Victoria General Hospital, then flown to a hospital in Edmonton, where he died Tuesday night.
This is the first recorded death in B.C. from a death-cap mushroom.
Death-cap mushrooms, or amanita phalloides, are mainly white, with a white or yellowish stem. Its cap ranges from yellow-green to light brown and is round when young, then flattens with age.
Death caps are the deadliest mushroom in the world and are responsible for about 90 per cent of mushroom-related deaths worldwide. The species is not native to B.C. and first appeared in Victoria about seven or eight years ago, said Andy MacKinnon, a member of the South Vancouver Island Mycology Society.
“We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the child’s family,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health’s chief medical health officer. “This tragedy reinforces how important it is for recreational mushroom hunters to know the difference between a poisonous and non-poisonous mushroom. To an untrained eye, it’s easy to mistake a toxic mushroom for an edible one. If you aren’t sure, leave it in the ground.”
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