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

SCS is calling all bikers!

Sophie Nethercut and Sarah Komisar of the Sitka Conservation Society were joined by Aaron Prussian, a local cyclist, to talk about this Saturday's (05-23-15) community bike ride and cookout. Downloadable audio. more

Walk MS seeks to build connections

11012938_962130293820110_38538037080717165_n
Colleen Dalquist and Patricia Atkinson are the local coordinators of Walk MS, a national initiative to connect people living with MS and their caregivers. Dalquist and Atkinson decided to bring the walk to Sitka this year and to share their personal experiences. Sitka's Walk MS will take place on Saturday, May 30, 2015. Downloadable audio. more