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Shellfish Biotoxin - Warning Extends into Hokianga Harbour

Public Health Warning
7 December 2017

MARINE BIOTOXIN IN SHELLFISH - Warning Extends into Hokianga Harbour


Last week Northland District Health Board, Public Health Unit advised the public NOT to collect or eat shellfish from the Northland west coast. This warning is now extended to include the Hokianga Harbour through to Tauroa Reef Point.

Shellfish collected within the area have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins, significantly above the regulatory level.

The symptoms of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) include
• numbness and tingling around the mouth, face or extremities;
• difficulty in swallowing or breathing;
• dizziness;
• double vision.

In severe cases, paralysis and respiratory failure can occur within 12 hours of consuming shellfish.

“Cooking the shellfish does not remove the toxin” said Dr Jose Ortega Benito, Medical Officer of Health, Northland DHB.

“Anyone who becomes ill after eating shellfish should see a doctor or phone Healthline for advice on 0800 61 11 16. For emergencies, phone 111 for immediate medical help.”

Northland District Health Board will monitor the situation and advise of any changes.

Members of the public with queries about shellfish safety may call:

Whangarei Hospital on 09 4304100 and request the on-call Health Protection Officer.

For map and updates go to http://mpi.govt.nz/travel-and-recreation/fishing/shellfish-biotoxin-alerts/


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