Shell­fish warn­ing ex­tended

The Northland Age - - Local News -

The first pub­lic health warn­ing against tak­ing po­ten­tially toxic shell­fish has been is­sued, ini­tially cov­er­ing the east coast from Granville Point, at the south­ern end of Hen­der­son Bay, to Cape Karikari, in­clud­ing Houhora and Ran­gaunu har­bours, but ex­tended north­wards yes­ter­day to North Cape, in­clud­ing Paren­garenga Har­bours, fol­low­ing re­ports of ill­ness af­ter con­sum­ing shell­fish col­lected from Rarawa Beach.

The Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries is­sued the warn­ing not to col­lect or con­sume shell­fish har­vested from those ar­eas on Tuesday, not­ing that cook­ing or freez­ing shell­fish would not make them safe to eat.

Rou­tine tests had shown lev­els of par­a­lytic shell­fish poi­son­ing (PSP) tox­ins above the safe limit of 0.8mg/kg. In se­vere cases, the tox­ins could cause paral­y­sis and res­pi­ra­tory fail­ure within 12 hours of con­sum­ing af­fected mus­sels, oys­ters, tu­atua, pipi, to­heroa, cock­les, scal­lops, any other bi­valves, cats’ eyes and kina.

Pa¯ua, crabs and cray­fish may still be eaten if the gut has been com­pletely re­moved prior to cook­ing.

Symp­toms typ­i­cally ap­pear be­tween 10 min­utes and three hours af­ter in­ges­tion and in­clude numb­ness and tin­gling around the mouth, face, hands and feet, pos­si­bly with dizzi­ness and dif­fi­culty swal­low­ing or breath­ing, vom­it­ing, di­ar­rhoea, paral­y­sis and res­pi­ra­tory fail­ure.

Any­one who be­comes ill af­ter eat­ing shell­fish should phone Health­line (0800 611-116) or seek med­i­cal at­ten­tion. im­me­di­ately. They may also con­tact the North­land Dis­trict Health Board Pub­lic Health Unit at Whanga¯rei Hos­pi­tal, on (09) 430-4100, and ask to speak with the on-call health pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer.

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