News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Shellfish Poisoning Risk High in Auckland And Northland


Thursday 20 December 2012


Shellfish Poisoning Risk High in Auckland And Northland

The recent spate of hospitalisations in the Bay of Plenty due to paralytic shellfish poisoning, serves as a timely reminder of some key health issues to be aware of this summer. “We know this is the time of year that people want to be at the beach and in the sun,” says Dr Julia Peters, Clinical Director of the Auckland Regional Public Health Service, “we just want people to have the information they need to make choices for their own and their families’ good health.”

Shellfish poisoning
• Twenty people have been poisoned in the last week by eating shellfish collected in the Bay of Plenty. The very same danger exists in the Auckland and Northland region.
• The public are advised not to eat shellfish collected from Motunui (Taranaki) north to Maunganui Bluff (just north of Dargaville), including the Raglan, Kawhia, Manukau and Kaipara Harbours.
• Symptoms of toxic shellfish poisoning include numbness and tingling around the mouth, face, fingers and toes, difficulties in swallowing or breathing, dizziness, double vision and, in severe cases, paralysis and the stopping of breathing.
• If someone you know does eat shellfish and becomes sick, seek urgent medical attention, keep any shellfish you have left over, and contact your local Public Health Unit.
• For further information see the full media release: http://www.arphs.govt.nz/news/articletype/articleview/articleid/157/19112012-update--biotoxin-in-shellfish-public-health-warning

Safe Swimming
• Check out the Auckland Council's Safeswim monitoring programme, which provides regular updates of water quality at beaches in the region: http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/environmentwaste/researchmonitoring/beach_water_quality_safeswim/Pages/home.aspx
• Wait at least 48 hours after heavy rainfall before swimming to avoid pollutants, and avoid swimming near stormwater drains or sewage outfall pipes.
• Avoid swimming in beach water that is cloudy or smells bad. If you can’t see your feet, don’t put your head under the water.
• Swim between the flags, and keep small children within arms reach.
• Learn to swim and make sure children, friends and whanau learn too. See http://www.watersafety.org.nz/ for more advice.

Sun Safety
• New Zealand has the highest rates of melanoma and skin cancer in the world. Melanoma killed 326 people in 2009 and the trend is going upwards.
• Cover up well, use sunglasses and wear a hat to protect your face, ears, and neck and stay in full shade as much as possible between 11am and 4 pm.
• Use a sunscreen of SPF 30+ or higher at least 20 minutes before going into the sun and reapply every two hours and after swimming. Use sunscreen in addition to shade and clothing.
• For more information and resources see: http://sunsmart.org.nz/

Food handling
• It is important to remember that there is an increased risk of food poisoning during the Christmas and BBQ season, due to the warmer weather. This means that good hand hygiene and careful food preparation is important.
• Keep in mind the four Cs of food safety: clean, cook, cover, chill. Wash and dry hands adequately before and after preparing food, cook food well (especially chicken) and ensure food is appropriately covered and chilled (included raw, prepared and leftover food).
• See further information here:
§ http://www.foodsmart.govt.nz/food-safety/tips/
§ http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/environmental-health/food/foodborne-illnesses
§ http://www.arphs.govt.nz/health-information/communicable-disease/hand-hygiene

Alcohol safety
• Make nonalcoholic and low alcoholic options available at all times.
• Always have alcohol with food.
• Don’t feel pressured to drink or serve alcohol if you don’t want to.
• Make sure that alternative transport options are available for those who have had too many alcoholic drinks or don’t wish to drive.
• Find out how much alcohol you are drinking at: http://www.alac.org.nz/alcohol-you/whats-standard-drink/guide-standard-drinks
• Find out how much you can safely drink at: http://www.alac.org.nz/alcohol-you/your-drinking-okay/low-risk-alcohol-drinking-advice
• Remember, the more you drink on one occasion, the greater your risk of injury or harm.

Jellyfish
• During summer, Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) sometimes receives reports of swimmers suffering from rashes caused by stings from jellyfish on Auckland’s beaches.
• Generally, those affected have an itchy red rash in the swimwear-covered areas. The rash can vary from being mild (slight discomfort) to severe. It can last for a week or more. Calamine lotion, antihistamines and mild steroid creams may be helpful. Children are more at risk.
• If you or your family develop a rash like this, please contact ARPHS and let us know.
• For further information see the fact sheet http://www.arphs.govt.nz/health-information/healthy-environments/fact-sheets

In summary, Dr Peters says “make health and safety an important part of your summer plans, take hand hygiene seriously and be sun, beach and alcohol safe.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Architecture:
Ian Athfield Dies In Wellington

New Zealand Institute of Architects: It is with great sadness that we inform Members that Sir Ian Athfield, one of New Zealand's finest architects, has passed away in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington Production: New-Look Tracy Brothers Are F.A.B.

ITV and New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures today released an exclusive preview of the new-look Tracy brothers from this year’s hotly anticipated new series, Thunderbirds Are Go. More>>

ALSO:

Cardinal Numbers:
Pope Francis Names Archbishop From NZ Among New Cardinals

Announcing a list of bishops to be made Cardinals in February Pope Francis named Archbishop John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington, overnight from Rome. On hearing the news of the announcement, Archbishop John Dew said "This news is recognition of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the contribution it makes to the global Catholic family." More>>

ALSO:

Nomenclature: Charlotte And Oliver Top Baby Names For 2014

Charlotte and Oliver were the most popular names for newborn girls and boys in 2014... The top 100 girls’ and boys’ names make up a small proportion of the more than 12,000 unique first names registered for children born this year, says Jeff Montgomery, Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriage. More>>

Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news