MEDIA RELEASES

Marine Biotoxin in Shellfish – Extension of Risk Area of Northland West Coast

Update - Extension of risk area Northland West Coast from Pouto to Mitimiti, North Hokianga

Northland District Health Board, Public Health Unit advises the public NOT to collect or eat shellfish from the Northland west coast area between (and including) Mitimiti north of the Hokianga harbour, to Pouto at the entrance to Kaipara harbour.

Further results on shellfish collected within the area have shown the presence of very high levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins.

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 Mills, 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 is monitoring the situation with MPI, and  will advise of any further 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.

Further information is also available on the following website:  http://www.foodsmart.govt.nz/food-safety/hunting-collecting-fishing/seafood-gatherers/



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