The National Commission for Surveillance and Control of the Toxic Red Tide in Guatemala, declared a red tide alert because the constant monitoring and analysis that is carried out showed high concentrations of saxitoxins above the appropriate limits.
The presence of toxic red tide was detected on the Pacific Coast, on the coast of Tiquisate, Escuintla, indicated Virginia Herzing de Stwolinsky, head of the Risk Management Unit of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS).
For this reason, bivalve mollusks, such as mussels, clams and shells. The consumption of the aforementioned foods produces severe intoxication and could even cause death.
On April 29, three cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning were reported in two minors and one adult, who were treated at the hospital in the southern municipality of Tiquisate, department of Escuintla, with gastrointestinal symptoms due to the consumption of clams.
To date, 11 cases with the same symptoms have been reported, and one of them died.
The MSPAS ordered to strengthen epidemiological surveillance actions to identify and notify possible cases of intoxication that may be registered on the Pacific coast due to the presence of red tide.
Also monitor the elevation of saxitoxin levels and alert all public and private health services so that the personnel take into consideration the clinical diagnosis of the disease.
The National Laboratory has carried out tests and has detected saxitoxin in clams, with levels of 7,069.4 RU/100g in samples obtained in the municipality of Tiquisate; the level considered as non-toxic is less than 400 UR/100g.
The symptoms of intoxication are: tingling in the lips, tongue, mouth and face; then it stretches and muscle strength is lost; paralysis, respiratory distress, nausea, dizziness and vomiting; these signs may appear 30 to 60 minutes after consuming the aforementioned mollusks.
If the symptoms mentioned above occur, you should go immediately to the service nearest health center to receive the appropriate treatment. All the services are free.