Four cases of PSP reported in Alaska

Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010

JUNEAU — Four suspected cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning, including one in Juneau, have been reported in Alaska, the Department of Environmental Conservation announced Wednesday.

PSP is a potentially lethal toxin that can lead to fatal respiratory paralysis. 

The other three cases were reported in Kodiak.

The case in Juneau appears to be linked to eating Cockles, a type of hard-shell clam, gathered on Monday from the Point Louisa end of Auke Bay. The patient remained hospitalized and in stable condition Thursday, according to DEC.

In Kodiak, one patient with symptoms remained hospitalized in stable condition, and the other two with more mild symptoms were recovering at home.

The Kodiak cases are associated with eating Butter Clams.

DEC warned harvesters not to eat shellfish from beaches not certified as safe. There are no beaches certified as safe for shellfish collection in Kodiak, or populated areas of Southeast Alaska. The warning does not apply to commercially grown and harvested shellfish available in grocery stores and restaurants. They are tested regularly before going to market.

Last year records show one reported case of PSP in Alaska. There were none in 2008 and one in 2007.

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