Published: Wednesday February 13, 2013 MYT 3:46:00 PM
One dead, 17 hospitalised after eating 'red tide' mussels
By STEPHANIE LEE
KOTA KINABALU: A man died and 17 others were hospitalised after consuming mussels and bivalves infected with red tide toxins, in the most serious case of paralystic shellfish poisoning (PSP) this season.
Sabah Fisheries Department director Rayner Stuel Galid said his department received a report from the State Health Department about the latest incident.
The victims had all purchased cockles and bivalves from street peddlers at the Inanam market, Galid said in a statement on Wednesday.
He said the red tide warning was still in place and urged the public to avoid consuming all types of marine shellfish or bivalves.
These include sea oysters, mussels, cockles, bivalves and any type of clam-like seafood.
Beginning late November, the department detected a high amount of PSP toxins in samples of bivalves obtained from the west coast through its red tide monitoring programme.
In January, two teenagers died from consuming poisonous shellfish.
Among the initial symptoms include tingling lips and tongue, a sensation of the 'pins and needles' on the skin, followed by loss of control of arms and legs, and difficulty breathing that could result in death.