Death Cap mushrooms have been found growing on the Island. (Black Press Media file photo)

Island Health issues warning after death cap mushrooms found in Greater Victoria

A toddler died in Victoria in 2016 after eating the poisons mushrooms

Island Health is warning residents of the Capital Region to be wary of poisonous mushrooms growing in the area.

Amanita phalloides or death cap mushrooms have been found again in the region. Ingesting the mushroom can lead to severe illness or death in both people and animals, and are especially dangerous for children.

So far this year there have not been any reported human illness, though one Victoria puppy died after eating undisclosed poisonous mushrooms.

In 2016, a three-year-old Victoria toddler died after ingesting a death cap mushroom in downtown Victoria.

READ MORE: Victoria toddler dies after ingesting poisonous mushroom

Death cap mushrooms typically grow in cities under various species of imported trees, including chestnut, English oak, beech, and hornbeam. They are pale and yellowish in colour with a large cap and skirting underneath. They often have a sweet, honey-like smell.

An poster put out by provincial partners explains how to identify a death cap mushroom (File contributed/ Island Health)

Island Health is advising people not to pick wild mushrooms unless they are knowledgeable about local varieties of mushrooms, and to not eat wild mushrooms from an unknown source.

If you believe you’ve ingested a poisonous mushroom, go to the nearest hospital or call 911 or the Poison Information Centre at 1-800-567-8911. Try to keep a sample of the mushroom for testing.

ALSO READ: Victoria puppy dies after consuming poisonous mushrooms

If you find death cap mushrooms, wear gloves when you removing them, being sure to grab the underground bulbous portion of the stem as well. Throw the mushrooms in a garbage bin and not in the compost or food recycling bin. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling them.

For more information, you can visit the BC Centre for Disease Control and Poison Control Centre at bccdc.ca.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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