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

A little help from our friends

We all need a little help sometimes, whether you’re a giant glass lizard ambling to your new library digs, or a community radio station reminding website users that news of Sitka and surrounds can’t come free forever. Everyone needs to help … more

Begich: Alaska will be ‘aggressive’ on MSA stock protections

Sen. Mark Begich speaking to the Sitka Chamber recently. He says Sen. Rubio has to "put down a scorecard" on Magnuson-Stevens," but the final bill will support Alaska's fisheries.
Sen. Mark Begich says the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act will not be moving forward without Alaska’s input. He says Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s bill (introduced on September 16) was intended to lay out language important to the Republican’s home state. It won’t necessarily be the final language in the bill. more