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DG of Health Privileged Statement – Shellfish

23 June 2000

DIRECTOR GENERAL OF HEALTH PRIVILEGED STATEMENT UNDER SECTION 37 OF THE FOOD ACT 1981

THE public should not collect or consume shellfish harvested from the coastline between Waipapakauri in Northland to the mouth of the Mokau River in the North Taranaki Region, the Director General of Health says.

Dr Karen Poutasi said tests have revealed shellfish samples from between Waipapakauri in Northland to the mouth of the Mokau River in North Taranaki contain higher than acceptable levels of paralytic shellfish poison.

The closure includes the Hokianga, Manukau, Kaipara, Kawhia, and Raglan Harbours and all other coastal inlets between the defined closure points.

Symptoms of Paralytic Poison (PSP) occur within 24 hours of consuming shellfish. They include numbness or tingling around the mouth, face or extremities, difficulty swallowing or breathing, dizziness, double vision, paralysis, or in severe cases, death.

Anyone who becomes ill after consuming shellfish should contact their doctor.

The Ministry has not received any reports of illness to date, however has issued the warning as a precaution following the results of the tests.

Public health services are continuing to take samples of shellfish and water to monitor the situation.

For further information contact the duty health protection officers in your area.

Auckland 09 262 1855 Northland 021 998 465 Waikato 07 838 2569 or 025 999 511

END


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