2 People Suffered Paralysis After Eating Mussels In PD: Here's What's Going On

PD folks have been told to stop eating mussels for now.

Cover image via Azrul Edham/New Straits Times & FMT

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In Port Dickson, several people have come down with food poisoning after eating mussels, with a few of them even experiencing paralysis

Eight cases of food poisoning involving mussels were recorded, with the first one being reported on 1 April.

According to Negeri Sembilan Health Department director Dr Harlina Abdul Rashid, five individuals were admitted to Port Dickson Hospital's general ward and one was given outpatient treatment.

However, two people are currently in the ICU after they experienced paralysis.

She said initial investigations found the cases involved several different families with a history of consuming mussels purchased from two markets around Port Dickson, reported the New Straits Times.

"All cases experienced symptoms such as headaches, numbness in the hands and feet, and muscle weakness. [Two] cases in the ICU were due to them experiencing [...] paralysis," she was quoted as saying.

State health director Datuk Dr Harlina Abdul Rashid.

Image via Mohd/New Straits Times

What's going on?

According to a laboratory analysis by the Kuala Lumpur Fisheries Biosecurity Centre, there are harmful algae that cause mussels in Port Dickson waters to be contaminated and unsafe to eat.

Fisheries Department (DOF) deputy director-general of management Wan Aznan Abdullah said water samples and mussels in the waters were contaminated with biotoxins as well as harmful species of algae.

"The hot weather is one of the causes of this algae multiplying quickly in the waters [...] We advise the public not to eat these mussels for the next 20 days," Bernama quoted him as saying today, 4 April.

Wan Aznan that the department will take more samples to be tested after the Raya festive season to confirm if the mussels in the coastland's waters are safe to be consumed.

While the mussels have been contaminated by the prorocentrum, alexandrium, and pseudonitzschia algae species, other seafood such as fish, squid, crabs, and other marine produce are safe to eat

According to Wan Aznan, people are free to eat fish, squid, crabs, and other marine produce.

"Try not to consume the bivalves including lokan, lala, and mussels," The Star quoted him as saying.

Additionally, bivalves farmed and fished in other states such as Melaka and Johor are safe to eat.

"Only the ones harvested in Port Dickson are not safe to eat for now," he added.

Earlier, the Negeri Sembilan DOF temporarily banned selling and releasing cultured mussels either through the fence or stake system

The department is monitoring and will conduct testing to detect the presence of biotoxins in the mussels until the density of harmful cells in the water decreases and biotoxins are no longer detected, reported FMT.

"There are 40 registered mussel operators here in Pasir Panjang as well as unregistered ones. The mussels in the waters do not have to be disposed of, they will neutralise themselves. But the mussels that have been harvested and sold in the market must be destroyed," Wan Aznan said, adding that the department is working with the police.

Fisheries Department (DOF) deputy director-general of management Wan Aznan Abdullah (left) with Negeri Sembilan DOF director Kasim Tawe.

Image via Bernama

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