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

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Island Health opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

(News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo school district headed toward 26-per cent overcapacity in next 10 years

Using B.C. Assessment and municipal stats, consultant projects more than 18,300 students in 2030

A Nanaimo man is offering a $300 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person who broke into his SUV and stole components from his drone. (News Bulletin file photo)
Drone owner offering reward after components stolen from his vehicle in Nanaimo

Vehicle break-in happened last month on Departure Bay Road

Regenerative farming that meets genuine needs should take priority over commercial recklessness, says columnist. (Stock photo)
Column: Hubris, greed causing humans to live destructively

Placing the economy as the top priority is licence to destroy natural systems, says columnist

Kyle Patrick McGuire was give a nine-month non-custodial sentencing to be followed by two years of probation on Wednesday, March 3, at the Nanaimo Law Courts. (PQB News file photo)
Bowser man sentenced to house arrest after guilty plea to child pornography offence

Nine-month non-custodial sentence to be followed by two years probation

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A rendering of Front Street transportation improvements set to get underway as soon as next week. (McElhanney image/City of Nanaimo)
Work set to start on Front Street cycle track in downtown Nanaimo

Road work and street reconfiguration project scheduled to start in March, finish in May

Most Read