Vancouver Coastal Health is warning the public that an extremely poisonous, deadly mushroom has been seen in Vancouver.
Known as a toxic ‘death cap mushroom,’ the fungus causes most of the fatal mushroom poisonings in the world. VCH notes that eating them may, “lead to liver and kidney damage or death.” Further, the BC Centre for Disease Control reports that a child died in 2016 after eating a mushroom that was picked in downtown Victoria.
The death cap can be found in urban environments associated with species of imported trees such as beech, chestnut, hornbeam, English oak and many others. The BCDC notes that they look similar to Asian paddy straw mushrooms, which are an edible species that doesn’t naturally grow in B.C. Likewise, they note that death cap also resembles, “puffball mushrooms when they are immature and in the small button stage.”
A toxic death cap mushroom has been seen in Vancouver. Eating them may lead to liver & kidney damage or death. Please watch out for them. Photo credit: Adolf Ceska. https://t.co/OyPX0nie8B pic.twitter.com/8235A35muE— Vancouver Coastal Health (@VCHhealthcare) July 4, 2019
The symptoms of death cap mushroom poisoning include low blood pressure, nausea and vomiting (which begins 8 to 12 hours after ingestion). After up to 24 hours have passed, the symptoms seem to disappear and you might feel fine for up to 72 hours. Symptoms of liver and kidney damage start 3 to 6 days after the mushrooms were eaten.
If you suspect you’ve been poisoned, bring the mushroom with you to emergency, as well as information about where it was found; this information will speed up treatment and improve recovery.
If you suspect you have eaten a death cap mushroom, you should immediately go to an emergency room. Early treatment is important.
If you see death cap mushrooms in the environment, please report the sighting. Go to Invasive Species of Concern (BC government website), which has an online reporting form and links to reporting apps.