MEDIA RELEASES

Public Health Warning re elevated levels of PSP at Tapeka Point, Bay of Islands

Northland District Health Board’s Health Protection Unit advise members of the public do NOT collect or consume shellfish from within the Bay of Islands. This warning follows sea water samples taken from Tapeka Point in the Bay of Islands showing the presence of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) organisms well above the regulatory level.

PSP toxin can be harmful, as a precautionary measure Shellfish farmers in the Bay of Islands have been advised by the Ministry for Primary Industries to not distribute any potentially affected products.

The symptoms of PSP include numbness and tingling around the mouth, face or extremities: difficulty in swallowing or breathing; dizziness; double vision; and in severe cases, paralyses and respiratory failure.  Symptoms usually occur within 12 hours of consuming shellfish.

Anyone who becomes ill after eating shellfish from this area should consult their doctor.

Members of the public with any queries about shellfish safety should call Northland DHB on 09 4304 100 and ask to speak with the on-call Health Protection Officer.



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