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Shellfish warning continues

Shellfish warning continues for lower east coast of Coromandel Peninsula

Shellfish toxins still found from Tairua through to the Bay of Plenty

Testing of shellfish samples in the Bay of Plenty District including parts of the south-eastern Coromandel coastline in December has shown continuing high levels of paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) present in shellfish along this coastline.

People are advised to avoid collecting or eating shellfish from the coast and all inshore islands of Tairua (including Tairua Harbour) south, including Whiritoa, Whangamata, Onemana, and east along the Bay of Plenty coastline from Waihi beach, including Tauranga Harbour to the mouth of the Whakatane River in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

"The health warning affects all bi-valve shellfish including mussels, pipi, tuatua, cockles, oysters, scallops, catseyes and kina (sea urchin)," said Thames-Coromandel District Council (TCDC) Environmental Health Officer, Allan Turner.

"Paua, crayfish and crabs can still be taken but as always, the gut should be removed before cooking."

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

These symptoms usually occur within 12 hours of a person consuming affected shellfish.

Anyone suffering illness after eating shellfish should seek medical attention.

Monitoring of toxin levels continues weekly.

For all health warning updates call 0800 221 555.

More information is online at: http://www.toiteorapublichealth.govt.nz/news/m/7/yr/2010/n/157

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