The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)

Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

According to provincial forest pathologist Harry Kope (British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development), one of the world’s most dangerous mushrooms has been found growing in Comox.

“I have been informed that what appears to be Amanita phalloides (Death cap mushroom) has been found fruiting in Comox, close to Filberg Park,” reads the email, sent by Kope to a local community health network. “This is a first finding of the mushroom outside of greater Vancouver and Victoria.

“Death cap mushrooms are a high health risk in urbananized environments. Death cap mushrooms are extremely poisonous and closely resemble some edible mushroom from Asia. Eating them may lead to liver and kidney damage, or death. People should educate themselves to keep their children and pets away from this species.”

When contacted by The Record, Kope confirmed the discovery as authentic.

“Someone on Facebook posted a picture of the mushroom and said it was in the Comox Valley,” said Kope. “There was some follow-up, and on Oct. 26 someone went out and collected it, and confirmed that it is [a death cap].”

Kope said that while only a single mushroom was discovered, chances are good that there are more in the area.

“Spores are wind-spread… it can be carried on roots of trees, and plants. How fast it can get around is really hard to say. But assuming that one that fruited was allowed to sporulate, those spores can carry into the wind, and they can [spread]. Just because there was that one mushroom found, there may be more of them coming to this area. To say there’s just that one… [that’s] unlikley.”

Vancouver Island has recorded at least one human death due to the ingestion of the death cap mushroom. In October of 2016, a child died after eating one that was picked in downtown Victoria.

A puppy also died from ingesting a death cap mushroom in Victoria, last year.

“I went to the neighbourhood where this puppy had eaten that mushroom and there were lots and lots of different ones,” said Kope. “So why did he go for that one? So that’s part of the concern… maybe there’s something about these that attracts dogs. So don’t let your dogs investigate them, or eat them.”

For up to date information about the death cap mushroom, characteristics, and what to do if ingested, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website: https://bit.ly/2G5YF9U

ALSO: B.C. expert asks residents to be wary as death cap mushrooms sprout



terry.farrell@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

The BC Wildfire Service is urging caution amid forecasts of strong winds throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre. (BC Wildfire Service photo)
Strong winds forecasted for Kamloops Fire Centre, BC Wildfire service urges caution

“Wind can cause grass fires to spread very quickly,” says the BC Wildfire Service

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

The freed osprey keeps a wary eye on its rescuers after being deposited on its nest. (Photo credit: Greg Hiltz)
Hydro crew in Ashcroft gets osprey rescue call-out they won’t soon forget

Bird was tangled in baling wire hanging from a hydro pole, necessitating a tricky rescue

Hesco baskets were first used outside the Cache Creek fire hall in 2020 (pictured), and have once again been put in place as a pre-emptive measure to safeguard the hall against possible flooding. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Cache Creek taking pre-emptive measures to prevent flooding

Sand and sandbags will soon be available for all residents who need them

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Most Read