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EXPANSION OF SHELLFISH CLOSURE DUE TO DOMOIC ACID ON WASHINGTON COAST

EXPANSION OF SHELLFISH CLOSURE DUE TO DOMOIC ACID ON WASHINGTON COAST
 OLYMPIA, Wash., Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The shellfish closure on Washington's coast has been expanded to include all beaches along the Strait of Juan De Fuca west of Dungeness Spit and the entire outer coastline, the Washington State Department of Health said today. Recent samples of razor clams have shown that the marine toxin, domoic acid, is present on north coast beaches near Ocean Shores. The closure, however, applies to all species of molluscan shellfish and gooseneck barnacles as a precautionary measure until further sampling can be undertaken.
 People who have harvested razor clams or other molluscan shellfish from the outer coast or areas west of Dungeness Spit are urged to dispose of them. People feeling sick after eating shellfish from the closed areas should contact their physicians immediately and notify their local health department.
 The illness associated with domoic acid is known as "amnesic shellfish poisoning," and can cause abdominal cramps, short-term memory loss, and in severe cases, death. The onset of vomiting abdominal cramps, diarrhea and nausea usually occurs within 24 hours. In severe cases, neurological symptoms appear within 48 hours, and may include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, seizures, breathing difficulty and extended loss of short-term memory capacity.
 Clams and oysters from adjacent commercial shellfish areas have not been affected by the toxin. Monitoring will be expanded to further define the areas impacted by domoic acid.
 -0- 11/22/91
 /CONTACT: Maryanne Guichard, 206-753-4183, or after hours, 206-956-1387, or in Seattle, 206-522-0975, or Dean R. Owen, 206-753-3934, or after hours, 206-352-4471, or Jack Lilja, 206-753-5959, or after hours, 206-943-6292, all of the Washington State Department of Health; or Mary Lou Mills of the Washington State Department of Fisheries, 206-586-2057, or after hours, 206-531-9217/ CO: Department of Health; Department of Fisheries ST: Washington IN: SU:


LM-JH -- SE013 -- 6601 11/22/91 20:35 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 22, 1991
Words:314
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