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DOH warns public vs. red tide in 6 Visayas, Mindanao areas

MANILA, March 18 ------ The Department of Health (DOH) warned the public against consuming shellfish from six areas in the Visayas and Mindanao due to paralytic shellfish poison or toxic red tide. The DOH and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said the advisory covers all types of shellfish, including mussels or tahong, oysters, clams, and alamang sourced from the coastal waters of Milagros in Masbate; Dauis and Tagbilaran City in Bohol; Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur; San Pedro Bay in Samar; Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar; and San Benito in Surigao del Norte. 


"Bring patients with symptoms after eating unsafe shellfish to the nearest emergency room immediately. Prevention is the best: do not eat tahong, talaba, halaan, other shellfish, and alamang from areas identified with toxic red tide,” Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said. “Always read advisories from DA-BFAR and the DOH. All hospitals are directed to prepare for these cases and to report them accordingly." he added. 


The DOH said fish, squids, shrimps (except their heads), and crabs are safe to eat so long as they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs, such as gills and intestines, are removed before cooking. It noted that the signs and symptoms of paralytic shellfish poisoning have a rapid onset and can be felt within 12 hours after consuming unsafe shellfish.  


These include numbness around the mouth or face; dizziness; pricking sensation and/or paralysis of hands and feet; body weakness; rapid pulse; difficulty talking, swallowing, or breathing; and headache. There may also be abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. 




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