Find a list of your saved stories here

State health officials confirm case of shellfish poisoning

Save Story

Save stories to read later

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — Officials have confirmed a case of paralytic shellfish poisoning from a mixture of clams harvested from a beach north of Ketchikan.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services officials confirmed Monday that a person became sick on the evening of April 24 from a mixture of horse, manilla and butter clams, reports he Ketchikan Daily News reports (

The leftover clams showed elevated levels of saxitoxin when tested at the state Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Health Laboratory.

DHSS says the person had typical PSP symptoms within 30 minutes of eating the clams but was not severely affected by the disease.

Early signs of PSP include tingling of the lips and tongue, which can progress to tingling in the fingers and toes and loss of control of arms and legs. That can be followed by difficulty breathing and death within as little as two hours.

The clams were harvested from a private beach in the Loring area, said DHSS spokesman Jason Grenn.

All shellfish can contain PSP toxins, including clams, mussels, oysters, geoducks and scallops, according the DHSS release. Commercially harvested shellfish are tested and considered safe.

The release said crabmeat is not known to carry the toxin but that crab guts can contain unsafe levels of saxitoxin and should not be eaten.

Shellfish can contain PSP toxins even if water looks clear and no algae bloom is present, and it cannot be cooked, cleaned or frozen out of the shellfish, according to the DHSS.


Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News,

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Most recent U.S. stories

Related topics

The Associated Press


    Catch up on the top news and features from, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast