Californians warned not to eat mussels, other potentially toxic shellfish through October

California
Martin Laity, co-owner of Cornwall shellfish merchants Sailors Creek, sorts mussels for purification on March 12, 2021 in Flushing, Falmouth, United Kingdom. (Hugh Hastings/Getty Images)

Martin Laity, co-owner of Cornwall shellfish merchants Sailors Creek, sorts mussels for purification on March 12, 2021 in Flushing, Falmouth, United Kingdom. (Hugh Hastings/Getty Images)

Officials with the Orange County Health Care Agency, the body tasked with oversight of public health programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, on Thursday announced a different kind of quarantine would be imposed through October: on the consumption of mussels.

Through Oct. 31, residents across California are being warned not to eat mussels and other potentially toxic shellfish collected by sports harvesters from coastal waters.

The reason? Harmful marine biotoxins produced by some species of microscopic algae can be absorbed by the digestive systems of mussels, clams, oysters and scallops. The consumption of affected mollusks puts humans at risk of paralytic shellfish poisoning.

Though only 571 cases of PSP have been recorded statewide since 1927, the condition can cause a loss of control in the arms and legs and eventually paralyze muscles in the abdomen and chest required for breathing, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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