Natural poisonous toxins detected in shellfish within Ventura County

Scott Morello via AP

SACRAMENTO (KRON) — The California Department of Public Health have advised residents to avoid eating recreational harvested bivalve shellfish from Ventura County due to natural poisonous toxins detected in them.

Mussels, clams and whole scallops were deemed unsafe to consume after officials discovered dangerous levels of domoic acid within the shellfish, according to CDPH.

Domoic acid or Amnesiac Shellfish Poisoning is a natural toxin, if consumed, can cause illness or death in humans.

Zero cases have been reported within the state of California, but officials said symptoms can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours after being exposed to toxic seafood.

According to CDPH, symptoms within a mild case of domoic acid can include the following.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

People with severe cases may experience the following symptoms.

  • Trouble Breathing
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Cardiovascular Instability
  • Seizures
  • Excessive Bronchial Secretions
  • Permanent Loss of Short Term Memory
  • Coma
  • Death

Patients with mild cases can see symptoms disappear within several days, but severe cases symptoms can last an existential amount of time.

Health officials said the advisory does not apply to commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops or oysters from approved sources. Shellfish sold by harvested and dealers are subjected to frequent mandatory testing to monitor for toxins.

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