DOH raises red tide alert in 4 provinces
The Department of Health (DOH) has advised the public to skip shellfish and shrimp fry harvested from five coastal areas in the Visayas and Mindanao due to the continued presence of the poisonous red tide toxin.
The health agency issued the warning following a bulletin from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) which warned that shellfish collected from Balite Bay in Mati, Davao Oriental, the coastal waters of Dauis in Bohol, Irong-irong Bay and Cambatutay Bay in Western Samar, and the coastal waters of Milagros in Masbate were positive for paralytic shellfish poison.
“All types of shellfish (such as tahong, halaan and talaba) and shrimp fry (alamang) gathered from these areas are not safe for human consumption,” according to the BFAR bulletin.
It added that consumers can eat fish, squids, shrimps and crabs harvested from these waters provided that they were fresh when bought, have been washed thoroughly, and the internal organs, such as gills and intestines, were removed before cooking.
But the agency said it has already lifted the red tide alert over the coastal waters of Mandaon in Masbate.
In a separate advisory, the DOH said red tide poisoning, caused by microorganisms, is a life-threatening syndrome associated with eating contaminated shellfish.
Its symptoms, which will be felt within 12 hours of eating contaminated shellfish, include headache, dizziness, facial numbness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, abdominal cramps, paralysis and breathing difficulty, which could lead to death.
In severe cases, supportive treatment, particularly artificial respiration, is given to the patient.
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