October 13, 2016 - 6:00 AM
VICTORIA - A three-year-old boy who was foraging with his family last week in Victoria has died after eating a poisonous wild mushroom.
Vancouver Island's health authority says the boy died Tuesday night, days after he was transferred to a hospital in Edmonton for treatment.
Dr. Richard Stanwick, Vancouver Island's chief medical health officer, says the tragedy reinforces how important it is for recreational mushroom hunters to know the difference between poisonous and non-poisonous varieties.
Stanwick says that to an untrained eye it's easy to mistake a toxic species for an edible one, and those who are unsure should leave the mushrooms in the ground.
It's believed the boy ate a death cap mushroom, but tests are ongoing to confirm the presence of specific toxins in his system.
The death cap resembles the popular paddy straw mushroom; it's mainly white with a yellowish stem, sometimes bulbous at the base, and Stanwick says the boy's family has urged the authority to educate the public of the risks.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016