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DOH warns of red tide poisoning

The Department of Health (DOH), based on the latest laboratory results of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and Local Government Units, today warned of paralytic shellfish poisoning (red tide poisoning) in the areas of Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur; Bislig Bay in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur; Murcielagos Bay in Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Occidental, and Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar.

Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral warns the public, particularly residents in the area not to consume all types of shellfish (including 'alamang') harvested in the said areas, as it is unsafe for human consumption. However, Cabral noted that fish, squids, shrimps, and crabs are safe to eat, provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and its internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.

A person who has consumed shellfish affected with the red tide toxin may experience any or combination of the following symptoms: facial numbness, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, breathing difficulty, abdominal cramps, and weakness or paralysis of one or more extremities.

In case one experiences or suspects paralytic shellfish poisoning, Cabral advises that the patient be brought to the nearest healthcare facility for immediate and proper treatment.

The following areas are presently free from red tide toxin: coastal waters of Cavite, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Navotas, Bulacan, Bataan in Manila Bay. Also the coastal waters of Alaminos, Anda, Bolinao, and Wawa, Bani in Pangasinan; Masinloc Bay in Zambales; coastal waters of Milagros and Mandaon in Masbate; Inner Malampaya Sound in Taytay and Honda Bay in Palawan; coastal waters of Pilar, President Roxas, Pontevedra, Panay, Roxas City, Ivisan and Sapian in Capiz;

Also presently free of any red tide toxin are the coastal waters of Pontevedra in Negros Occidental; Irong-irong, Maqueda and Villareal Bays in Samar; Ormoc, San Pedro, Cancabato and Carigara Bays in Leyte; Biliran waters in Biliran Province; Hinatuan and Lianga Bays in Surigao del Sur; Balite Bay in Mati, Davao Oriental; coastal waters of Kabasalan in Sibuguey Bay, Zamboanga Sibugay and Juag Lagoon in Matnog, Sorsogon, and Sorsogon Bay in Sorsogon.

The public is advised to watch out for future announcements should more areas become affected by red tide. (PIA)

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