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April 7, 2023

CHP investigates suspected case of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning


     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 5) investigating a case of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning affecting two patients.

     The case involves two females aged 34 and 31, who presented with diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and cramps 35 to 60 minutes after respectively consuming venus clams from a restaurant in Tung Chung yesterday (April 4) afternoon. They attended private hospitals on the same day respectively and no hospitalisation was required. Both patients have been in a stable condition all along.

     Investigation by the CHP is continuing.

     “Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxin is a natural toxin sometimes found in bivalve shellfish. It is heat-stable and cannot be destroyed through cooking,” a spokesman for the CHP said.

     “The symptoms of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning are predominantly gastrointestinal and the onset is usually within 30 minutes to a few hours after ingestion of the shellfish. Symptoms may include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, chills, and moderate to severe abdominal pain and cramps. Complete recovery is expected within a few days,” the spokesman added.

     The spokesman reminded members of the public that they should seek medical advice immediately if they develop diarrhetic shellfish poisoning symptoms and save any leftovers for investigation and laboratory testing.

     To reduce the risk of shellfish poisoning, the public should:

  • Buy shellfish from reliable and licensed seafood shops;
  • Remove the viscera, gonads and roe before cooking and discard any cooking liquid before consumption;
  • Eat a smaller amount of shellfish in any one meal; and
  • When symptoms occur after consuming shellfish, seek medical advice immediately.

Ends/Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Issued at HKT 18:00


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