1 dead, 3 ill due to red tide poisoning in Biliran | Inquirer News
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1 dead, 3 ill due to red tide poisoning in Biliran

By: - Correspondent / @joeygabietaINQ
/ 01:42 PM December 24, 2016

TACLOBAN CITY – An 81-year-old man from Cabucgayan town in Biliran province died while three others had fallen ill on Wednesday after they ate oysters suspected to contain the red tide toxins.

Dr. Nancy Dayap, aquaculturist of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-8) said Agustin Dacallos passed away at the Naval Provincial Hospital (NPH) in Naval town while he was being treated.

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Three other residents of the village – Flora Aguang, 71; Emelita Lamoste, 46; and Hernani Gayrama, 71 – were also brought to the NPH due to red tide poisoning.

Dayap, in a phone interview, said that based on the information she gathered from Teresita Anota, village chair of Balaquid, the villagers cooked leaf oysters locally called “masabay” during a Christmas gathering. The oysters were brought from a fisherman from the nearby village of Basud on Wednesday.

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Anota and other villagers started to stomach pains and vomit hours after eating the masabay, said Dayap.

Fortunately, she added, many of the villagers were able to drink coconut milk which was said to be effective in flushing out the red tide toxins from the body.

But Dacalos and five others were not able to drink the antidote immediately and their condition worsened that they had to be rushed to the hospital.

Dacallos was pronounced dead by the doctors at the NPH at 9:20 p.m. on Wednesday.

Of the five, only Gayrama remained confined at the hospital.

Dayap said the oysters eaten by the victims may have been harvested from the waters off Carigara Bay, one of the seven bays in Eastern Visayas that remain contaminated with red tide toxins.

The six other bays were Cambatutay Bay and Irong-Irong Bay in Samar; coastal waters of Leyte, Leyte; Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar, coastal water of Calubian, Leyte and the coastal waters of Naval, Biliran.

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All kinds of shellfish coming from these bays are prohibited from being eaten or sold to the market.

The BFAR reports said that the toxins found in these bays are beyond the regulatory limit of 10 cells per liter in seawater and 49 saxitoxins per gram in shellfish meat.

It added that the density of these bays is as high as 600 cells per liter in water and 129 saxitoxins per gram in shellfish meat. JE

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TAGS: BFAR, Biliran, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Food Poisoning, oyster, red tide, red tide poisoning, shellfish
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