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FDA warns consumers about poisonous shellfish from Oregon and Washington

(KARAH RUCKER)

BEFORE YOU GET A CLAMPED BOX OR ENJOY A PLATE OF OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER AT YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT: A WARNING.

CONSUMPTION OF SOME SHELLFISH FROM OREGON AND WASHINGTON CAN LEAD TO POTENTIALLY DEADLY PARALYTIC SHELLFISH POISONING OR PSP.

THE FDA’S ADVISORY AFTER AT LEAST 31 PEOPLE REPORTED POISONING HAS LEATED NO ONE TO DEATH.

THE WARNING APPLIES TO OYSTERS AND CLAMS HARVESTED IN NETARTS BAY AND TILLAMOOK BAY, OREGON ON OR AFTER MAY 28

AND ALL TYPES OF CRUSTACEANS FROM THE WILLAPA BAY AREA, WASHINGTON, HARVESTED BETWEEN MAY 26 AND 30.

THE HARVEST AREAS ARE NOW CLOSED.

THE CRUSTACEANS WERE DISTRIBUTED TO ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, HAWAII, NEVADA, NEW YORK, OREGON AND WASHINGTON. RESTAURANT OWNERS AND CONSUMERS WHO HAVE PURCHASED THEM ARE TOLD TO THROW THEM.

THE FDA SAYS THE CRUSTACEANS ARE CONTAMINATED WITH TOXINS PRODUCED BY THE ALGAE THEY FEED. OREGON WILDLIFE OFFICIALS SAY A “VERY LARGE” ALGAE BLOOM ALONG THE COAST IS CAUSING “UNPROMISABLE LEVELS OF” PSP TOXINS. Oregon officials say it could take months or even a year for toxin levels to drop in some shellfish, depending on the type.

PSP SYMPTOMS MAY BEGIN WITHIN 30 MINUTES OF EATING THE CONTAMINATED SHELLFISH.

THE SYMPTOMS range from tingling in the mouth, tongue and lips, vomiting to respiratory paralysis.

VENTILATION MAY BE REQUIRED TO TREAT SEVERE CASES. IN FATAL CASES, THE CAUSE IS USUALLY CHOKING.

Health officials say patients who survive 24 hours, with or without respiratory support, usually make a full recovery.

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