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CORRECTED: Crab Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) reported in Haines

Local man released from the hospital this morning

(Anchorage, AK) - Epidemiologists with the Department of Health and Social Services received a report Sunday of another case of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).

According to officials at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, the patient, a middle aged man from Haines, reportedly developed symptoms consistent with PSP after eating Dungeness crab in Haines on Friday. It is believed that the PSP came from the viscera (guts). PSP is not normally found in the crab meat. Symptoms included tingling in his lips, numbing in his body, weakness and poor coordination. The man was medevaced to Juneau on Saturday and released from the hospital this morning.

The crab was reportedly caught in front of Jenkins Rock near the Chilkat Inlet of Lynn Canal. No one else who ate crab caught at the same time reported any symptoms.

DEC and DHSS officials warn the public not to consume the viscera (internal organs) from recreational and subsistence harvested crabs. Additionally, DEC plans to begin testing crab from the implicated southeastern area.

This is the fifth case of paralytic shellfish poisoning reported to the state in the past two weeks. Shellfish consumers should be aware that PSP can occur in any shellfish at any time of the year, and should be aware of the classic PSP symptoms, including numbness or tingling of the face, arms, and legs; headache; dizziness; nausea; and poor coordination, so that they may immediately induce vomiting if they occur.

PSP is considered a public health emergency and must be reported immediately to the Section of Epidemiology by health care providers at (907) 269-8000 during work hours or (800)-478-0084 after hours.

For more information on PSP go to: http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/marine_toxins/

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