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.
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