Shellfish warning revised

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Regular shellfish monitoring along the coast has seen Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) levels fall along the eastern Coromandel Peninsula.

Toi Te Ora Public Health Service medical officer of health Dr Jim Miller said there was now now PSP concern from Waihi Beach northwards.

"However, the current warning remains in place from Waihi Beach to Whakatane Heads."

Dr Miller said the warning remained against gathering or eating shellfish from Waihi Beach, along the Bay of Plenty coast including Tauranga Harbour, Maketu and Waihi estuaries, Matakana and Motiti Islands, and all other islands along this coastline.

Shellfish containing toxic levels of paralytic shellfish poison don't look or taste any different from shellfish that are safe to eat. Cooking or freezing the shellfish does not remove the toxin. Paua, crayfish and crabs can still be taken but as always, the gut should be removed before cooking or eating.

Eating shellfish affected by paralytic shellfish toxin can cause numbness and tingling around the mouth, face, hands and feet; difficulty swallowing or breathing; dizziness; double vision; and in severe cases, paralysis and respiratory failure.

These symptoms can start as soon as 1-2 hours after eating toxic shellfish and usually within 12 hours. Anyone suffering illness after eating shellfish should seek urgent medical attention.

"Paralytic shellfish poisoning can be a very serious illness. Please help keep yourself and your family safe and don't collect or eat shellfish from the affected areas," Dr Miller said.

Anyone wanting more information can contact:

Phone: 0800 221 555, option 1
Website: www.ttophs.govt.nz/health - warnings
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ttophs
Email alerts for subscribers: www.ttophs.govt.nz/alert

- Bay of Plenty Times

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