A three-year-old boy has died after ingesting a poisonous mushroom in downtown Victoria.
The boy was foraging for mushrooms with his family at an undisclosed location in the downtown core last week.
After ingesting the mushroom, the toddler was treated at Victoria General Hospital, before he was airlifted to a hospital in Edmonton earlier this week. He died in hospital last night.
Specimens collected at the site in which the family was foraging suggests the boy ingested an Amanita phalloides mushroom, also known as the “death cap” mushroom. However, tests are still ongoing.
“We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the child's family,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, chief medical health officer for Island Health.
“This tragedy reinforces how important it is for recreational mushroom hunters to know the difference between a poisonous and non-poisonous mushroom. To the untrained eye, it's easy to mistake a toxic mushroom for an edible one.”
This is the first recorded death in the province from a person ingesting a death cap mushroom.
Death cap mushrooms are ordinary in appearance. They are mainly white, with a white or yellowish stem, a cap that ranges from yellowish-green to light brown that is round when young and flattens with age.
According to Stanwick, they grow in remote settings and are becoming more common in urban areas such as Victoria.