15 Jan 2009

Toxic shellfish warning still in place

10:48 am on 15 January 2009

Warnings against collecting shellfish are still in place along part of the east coast of the North Island.

A health warning has been in place since 24 December for the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty coastline from Tairua to the mouth of the Motu River.

Shellfish there continue to test positive for paralytic shellfish poison.

Toi Te Ora Public Health medical officer Dr Phil Shoemack, says 16 different sites are being tested twice a week for the presence of the toxin.

He says it can cause numbness and skin tingling, difficulty swallowing or breathing, dizziness, double vision, and in severe cases, paralysis and respiratory failure.