BFAR confirms 26 PSP in Pangasinan

December 5, 2014 11:08 am 

DAGUPAN CITY, Dec. 5 — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has confirmed that 26 persons from Bolinao were hospitalized due to paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) after consuming mussels contaminated with red tide.

BFAR Regional Director Nestor Domenden, quoting a report from the local government of Bolinao and the Western Pangasinan District Hospital (WPDH) in Alaminos City where the 26 were admitted, said that the victims were paralytic shellfish poisoning cases.

Domenden, speaking over a television station in Dagupan early Friday morning, admitted that BFAR is yet to declare the waters of Bolinao and the neighboring towns of Anda positive for red tide toxin.

But in coordination with the two local government units, they have already gathered water samples from these coastal towns on Thursday for laboratory analysis.

The lone fatality was Manelyn Conde, 20, a housewife from Barangay Ilog Malino, Bolinao. She died on arrival at the Bolinao Community Hospital in the late afternoon of December 3.

Conde and all the victims suffered severe abdominal pains and vomited after eating mussels and shellfishes gathered in the waters of Bolinao, said Assistant Provincial Health Officer Jeremy Rosario.

Rosario said the effect of the red toxin is immediate, meaning the symptoms occur just after consumption.

Rosario told newsmen Thursday that initially, five victims from Bolinao were hospitalized with one death.

He however said there is a possibility that more persons were afflicted and admitted in private clinics and hospitals.

The BFAR official said if the analysis on water samples obtained in Bolinao and Anda were found positive of red tide, they would recommend to the Red Tide Task Force the imposition of shellfish ban in the two towns.

He admitted receiving an advanced information Thursday that red tide has already contaminated the waters of Bolinao, Anda and Bani as well as Alaminos City.

Domenden however said they need to conduct confirmatory tests on the mussels samples where the victims sourced out their food, including their left-overs.

He said the advisory regarding the imposition of the shellfish ban that Red Tide Task Force may issue will be relayed to all the local government units concerned.

Because of the reported PSP case, Domenden directed municipal and city agriculture officers and members of Fisheries and Agriculture Management Councils to now enforce the ban on the gathering, transporting, selling and consumption of shellfishes in their areas to avoid further harm to the consumers in Bolinao and Anda.

Alarmed buy the PSP cases, Bolinao Mayor Arnold Celeste called on the residents to avoid gathering and eating shellfishes in their coastal waters, asking the municipal agriculture officer to strictly implement this order.

In Dagupan City, the local government has tightened its red tide watch to prevent the entry of mussels and other shellfishes from western Pangasinan, from where wholesalers are buying for distribution to various towns of Pangasinan (PNA)

FFC/LVM/RMA

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