Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Mussel quarantine in effect through October

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — An annual quarantine of all sport-harvested mussel species along the coastline of California, including all bays, inlets, and harbors is now in effect according to the California Department of Public Health.

The quarantine is in place to protect the public against poisoning as the toxins found in mussels can lead to severe illness and death.

Previous outbreaks have involved residents of inland counties as well as those along the coast.

This order does not apply to mussels harvested from Clear Lake. Neither does it apply to commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops or oysters. State-certified commercial shellfish harvesters or dealers are permitted to sell these products which are subject to frequent mandatory testing to ensure they are safe for consumers.

Paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, and domoic acid poisoning, or DAP, are linked to microscopic phytoplankton which become concentrated in filter-feeding animals.

PSP affects the human central nervous system producing a tingling sensation around the mouth and fingertips within a few minutes to a few hours after eating toxic shellfish.

DAP can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating toxic seafood. More information about the annual quarantine, PSP, and DAP can be found on the California Department of Public Health’s Annual Mussel Quarantine Frequently Asked Questions webpage here.

The annual quarantine lasts from May 1 through Oct. 31. Neighboring counties have previously extended the quarantine order after monitoring programs continued to detect elevated levels of domoic acid and high numbers of algae that produce this toxin.

To receive updated information about shellfish poisoning and the annual mussel quarantine, call the California Department of Public Health’s toll-free Biotoxin Information Line at 1-800-553-413 or visit the California Department of Public Health Annual Mussel Quarantine Frequently Asked Questions or the agency’s Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Program.

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