16 March 2005

Scientists monitoring red tide areas

The department of environmental affairs and tourism has issued a warning about a widespread red tide along the West Coast from Doringbaai southwards, into False Bay and Walker Bay and as far east as Cape Agulhas.

It warned people not to collect or eat mussels or other filter-feeding organisms such as red bait and oysters in the affected areas until further notice.

People could develop paralytic shellfish poisoning or diarrhoetic shellfish poisoning.

A woman from Goodwood in the Western Cape showed symptoms of paralytic shellfish poisoning after eating mussels.

"The woman was admitted after she showed an allergic reaction to the mussels she ate. She is okay now and will probably go home today," said Tygerberg Hospital spokesperson Martie Carstens.

Cases of diarrhoetic shellfish poisoning have also been reported in the Hermanus area.

Symptoms of paralytic shellfish poisoning include tingling and numbness of the mouth, lips and fingers; breathing difficulties; general muscular weakness and lack of co-ordination. In severe cases, it can cause paralysis.

Symptoms of diarrhoetic shellfish poisoning are vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea.

Scientists are taking daily water and mussel samples to monitor the situation and to determine the levels of toxicity. A red tide information line has been set up on 021 434 4457.


Post a Comment

<< Home