Health ministry issues alert of shellfish contaminated with red tide

The hospitalization of three people who were poisoned by eating clams taken from Bejuco beach in Guanacaste, forced the Ministry of Health to declare alert for the presence of red tide on the Pacific coast.

Ministry of Health said to people not to consume the coast mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, pianguas, mionas, bearded ax, fan shell, cockles and razor.

Not recommended eating cockles, choras and chuchecas.

Pollution is because these sea products “feed on marine phytoplankton, which contains high concentrations of biotoxins and poses a risk of poisoning for people who ingest it,” the ministry said in a press release.

Moreover, the warning does not prevent the consumption of fish species such as golden bun, grouper, snapper, sea bass, eel, tuna, octopus and shrimp, as these do not accumulate biotoxins.

The Health Ministry warned that people who consume contaminated shellfish can suffer numbness and tingling in the lips, symptoms may spread around the body.

Those affected may also have muscle weakness “resulting in difficulty walking, nausea, vomiting and dizziness, paralysis and in severe cases can present respiratory distress and death,” the ministry said.

This portfolio coordinates enacting a ban on shellfish harvesting and marketing of the Pacific coast.