Health Authorities Issue Warning About Butter Clams Harvested Off Dundas Island

Kathy Brookes

The First Nations Health Authority and Northern Health have issued a warning as they investigate "probable cases" of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning in the Prince Rupert area.

The cases involve people who ate butter clams harvested on Dundas Island in November.

Paralytic shellfish poisoning can result in serious illness and death.

The health authorities are urging people not to consume any more butter clams harvested from areas that haven't been tested for biotoxins or are not open for harvest under the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program, including Dundas Island.

They warn cooking or freezing clams does not destroy the toxins.

Harvesters are also urged to ensure other community members who may have received at-risk butter clams are told about the warning.

And anyone who is sick is urged to seek medical care immediately.

The investigation -- involving the B-C Centre for Disease Control and First Nations communities -- includes the testing of leftover food samples, clinical samples and assessing the handling and distribution of the harvested product.

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