Local News

Shellfish poisonings sicken two Sitkans

Two Sitkans suffered symptoms of paralytic shellfish poisoning after eating clams harvested in the Starrigavan Creek area, not far from the community’s ferry terminal.

State health official Louisa Castrodale says a man and a woman had to seek treatment at a hospital emergency room after consuming the clams Oct. 18th.

She says they ate two clams each and developed typical symptoms for limited exposure.

“Tingling around the mouth, and tingling in the fingers, the lips and things like that. Sometimes they can have gastrointestinal systems, like nausea and vomiting. This is just in general,” Castrodale says.

000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 -toxic-shellfish-large570-001“Folks who are more severely affected can have muscle weakness or issues breathing.”

Both patients were treated and released.

The state Environmental Health Laboratory analyzed leftover clams. Testing found the PSP toxin.

You’ve heard this before. But Castrodale stresses there’s no way of knowing what shellfish is safe to eat.

“There’s no broad testing program for recreationally harvested shellfish. So you can’t tell if there is toxin or paralytic shellfish poising in shellfish by just looking at it,” she says.

Commercially sold shellfish are tested and only sold if they’re safe.

Clams, mussels, oysters, geoducks and scallops can contain the poison. Crabmeat is not known to hold the toxin, but crab guts can.

Read more information about paralytic shellfish poisoning.

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Assembly votes to let garden stands sprout in Sitka

Soil for the taking at Blatchley Community Garden. (KCAW photo/Greta Mart)
The Sitka Assembly voted Tuesday night to make it easier for residents to sell produce they’ve grown at home. The change is part of an effort to make locally grown food more easily accessible. more

MEHS volleyball reflect on state championship victory

Players Taryn White, Renatta Olson, and Kathy Holly were joined by their coach Michael Mahoney to talk about their path to victory. . more