The Center for Infectious Disease Control asks people to avoid picking mushrooms in urban areas and to warn them whenever they see a phalloid amanita, a deadly fungus.
The aptly-named “death cap” mushroom has been seen frequently in Vancouver and Victoria,” says Raymond Li of the Center.
It is the most toxic fungus in the world. It contains toxins that can damage the liver and kidneys. A mushroom is enough to kill an adult.
The phalloid amanita is now found in 100 sites on the south coast, including Vancouver Island, Galliano Island and the Fraser Valley. The Center for Infectious Disease Control believes that the fungus is found in many other places.
Raymond Li also indicated that of the 29 calls received by the Center for mushrooms, none related to phalloid amanita.
In 2016, a three-year-old died in Victoria after eating a phalloid amanita that her parents had picked.
Which mushrooms can look like phalloid amanita?
9 fatal poisonings out of 10 are due to phalloid amanita, so it is better to avoid confusing it with other edible mushrooms also having a greenish hat like for example:
- green Russula ( Russula virescens ) and Russula cyanoxantha ( Russula cyanoxantha ) which have neither volva nor ring and are odorless, which can be confusing with a young phalloid amanita that has been attacked by slugs. The remaining difference lies in the blades that are not free in russules.
- the rosé of the meadows ( Agaricus campestris ) which grows in the meadows on the edge of the woods but not under the trees.
- the forest agaric ( Agaricus silvaticus ) which is distinguished by its pinkish gray blades becoming brown as they age. This characteristic common to all Agaricus helps to avoid confusion.
Other deadly amanitae may be confused with phalloid amanitae: spring amanita ( Amanita verna ) and amanita vira ( Amanita virosa ). The first grows only in spring, and the second, rarer, has a slender foot.
The confusion can be so heavy consequences that the slightest doubt, ask the advice of a pharmacist mycologist. If other edible fungi have been in contact with phalloid amanita, they should be discarded and not consumed.
The toxicity of phalloid amanita
The toxicity of phalloid amanita is concentrated on the liver to destroy it and on the kidneys: the first disorders are gastrointestinal, classic, then the effects of a hepatitis lightning and the renal insufficiency are manifested with violence for you kill one to two weeks after eating the mushrooms.
Depending on whether the intervention of the relief is fast enough, it is possible to escape in some cases, often with a liver transplant.
(photo 1: CC BY-SA 3.0)
Marie Bram started working for Spruce Tribune in 2017. Marie grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Spruce Tribune, Marie briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.