A three-year-old boy died after eating wild poisonous mushrooms, which he had been picking up with his family in Victoria.
The local health authority confirmed the news on Wednesday. The reports revealed that the family had been picking up the wild mushrooms last week in downtown Victoria, the exact location which remains undisclosed. Island Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer Richard Stanwick said that the boy was treated in Victoria earlier and then airlifted to Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton where he died on Tuesday night.
The matter came into focus when the toddler’s family decided to spread awareness to the public and let people know about the poisonous mushrooms. “They basically wants to make sure that no other family has to go through what they’ve had to go through,” Stanwick said. “It’s just so so terrible.”
“This tragedy reinforces how important it is for recreational mushroom hunters to know the difference between a poisonous and non-poisonous mushroom,” he said. “To the untrained eye, it’s easy to mistake a toxic mushroom for an edible one.”
The chief health officer said that if it is confirmed that the boy died because of the consumption of poisonous mushroom. It would be the first of such recorded instance in the province caused by a BC death cap mushroom.
The health authority confirmed that samples of mushrooms were collected from the site of the death of the toddler for a mycological test. The test showed that it is possible that the boy ate the “death cap” mushroom, known as Amanita phalloides.
The Globe and Mail reported that Stanwick has requested that the people who are unsure of the mushrooms’ toxic nature must not take risk of consuming them and just leave them on the ground. Back in September, the BC Center for Disease Control and the Vancouver Mycological Society also warned mushroom hunters to be cautious.