25 hospitalized due to red tide poisoning in Masbate town
LEGAZPI CITY — At least 25 people, including four minors, were hospitalized on Monday, Oct. 10, in Milagros town in Masbate province due to red tide poisoning, health officials said in a belated report Tuesday, Oct. 11.
Dr. Allen Concepcion, the rural health physician of Milagros town, said 10 residents of the remote village of Bangad were taken to the rural health center while 12 others were referred to the Masbate Provincial Hospital at around 7 p.m.
Concepcion said the residents experienced vomiting and stomach pain hours after they ate shellfish Pinctada shell, locally known as “baliad,” at around 3 p.m.
“They mainly rely on fish and shellfish for food because the market is not accessible to buy pork or chicken. They ate it for ‘merienda’ (snacks) while some were served in a drinking session,” he said.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, three patients were treated at the health center due to red tide poisoning from also eating baliad.
Concepcion said these patients were in stable condition but are still under observation as of Tuesday afternoon.
Nonie Enolva, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Bicol spokesperson, said based on the initial report of the Provincial Fisheries Office, the shellfish were gathered in the coastal areas of Magsalangi and Calasuche villages in the said town.
She said the agency collected shellfish meat and plankton from the area for laboratory examination.
On Oct. 6, BFAR Bicol warned the public against the gathering, selling, and eating of shellfish along the coastal areas of Milagros town after shellfish samples collected were found positive for paralytic shellfish toxin.
READ: Shellfish banned in 10 areas due to red tide
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