According to the state Department of Health and Social Services, a local woman was hospitalized for paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, on May 28, after consuming cockles and clams harvested on Gravina Island. Reported symptoms included tingling in the fingers and toes, and numbness in the lips, feet, and legs.
Lab results from the shellfish confirmed extremely high levels of PSP, more than 3,000 parts per million. Anything above 80 is considered toxic.
State health officials would like to remind residents that paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, is an ever present danger in personally harvested shellfish – including clams, mussels, cockles and oysters. PSP can cause a tingling sensation in your lips and fingertips, followed by numbing of your arms and legs, and in some cases can lead to death. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical care. Remember, PSP cannot be cooked or cleaned out of shellfish, but commercially grown shellfish is tested and considered safe.
For more information, visit http://dhss.alaska.gov/.