Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning in Alaska

This isn’t a very long article but I thought it was very relevant, especially to previous lessons we have had concerning PSP.   It is especially relevant because it is about Alaska!   Last week there was three cases of PSP in Alaska, one from razor clams that were harvested from Admirality Island and the other two cases were from a couple of people that ate butter clams from Lincoln or Ralston Island.   All three cases had the same symptoms which were numbness and tingling of the lips, tongue, face and eventually hands which started a couple of hours after consuming the clams.   The article says, “According to the state of Alaska’s news release, locally harvested shellfish-including clams, mussels, oysters, geoducks and scallops- can contain paralytic shellfish poison.   Crabmeat is not known to contain the PSP toxin, but crab guts can contain unsafe levels of toxin and should be discarded.’   This article alarmed me because My family used to always go down toward Juneau and get razor clams and can them every couple of years and it is scary to think that we could have gotten PSP too!   I guess we were really lucky to not have that happen to us.

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Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Strikes Three in Alaska

3 thoughts on “Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning in Alaska”

  1. Wow! I’ve never been a clam type of person, but I know many people that are. I wonder how common it is? Perhaps some people experience less intense versions of it, going unreported?

    1. I was thinking the same thing! It is actually pretty crazy to think that maybe people get it in small doses when they harvest their own shellfish but maybe they think the symptoms are something else so they don’t go to the hospital because it is so minimal. I will have to look into that some time and do some more research on PSP.

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