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Suspected shellfish poisoning on Waiheke Island

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Tuesday 29 April 2014

Advisory: Suspected shellfish poisoning on Waiheke Island

Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) advises the public not to consume shellfish collected from Onetangi Beach, on Waiheke Island, after being notified of a suspected case of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP).

The person became ill an hour after eating pipis on Sunday 27 April. Their symptoms included dizziness, tingling of fingers and toes, tingling and swelling of the tongue, nausea and diarrhoea.

The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is planning to take shellfish samples from the beach today, and hopes to have results by next week. In the meantime, Medical Officer of Health Dr Simon Baker urges people to exercise caution.

“While this is not a confirmed case, all the symptoms are consistent with PSP – therefore ARPHS strongly urges people not to collect or eat any shellfish from Onetangi Beach until test results are known,” says Dr Baker.

PSP occurs within 12 hours of eating affected shellfish. Other symptoms can include:

• Numbness around the mouth, face or extremities

• Difficulties in swallowing or breathing

• Double vision

• Weakness and clumsiness

• Slurred or unclear speech

• Paralysis and respiratory failure in severe cases

If anyone experiences these symptoms after eating shellfish, call 111 immediately, keep any leftover shellfish so it can be tested, and contact ARPHS on 09 623 4600. ARPHS also wishes to hear from anyone else who may have experienced any of these symptoms after eating shellfish.

ARPHS will continue to monitor the situation and will issue an update once the test results come back.

ENDS

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