25 hospitalized due to red tide poisoning in Masbate

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – Twenty-five persons, including four minors, were hospitalized after eating windowpane oyster, also known as “katipay” or “tipay,” infected with red tide in Milagros, Masbate on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

RED tide poisoning victims in Milagros, Masbate are treated at the Rural Health Unit. (BFAR-Bicol FB)

Nonie Enolva, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Bicol spokesperson, said that the victims suffered from paralytic shellfish poisoning two days after BFAR-Bicol issued an advisory reminding the public of existing shellfish ban due to the presence of red tide toxin on the coastal waters of Milagros and Sorsogon Bay.

Enolva said that victims manifested symptoms such as vomiting and stomach pain.

“Eleven of them were admitted to the Rural Health Unit of Milagros while 14 others were admitted to the Masbate Provincial Hospital. All patients are in stable condition but are still recuperating as of Tuesday afternoon,” she said.

Rodrigo Lining, president of the People’s Organization of Sitio Buracay Bangad, the shellfish consumed by the victims was gathered in the coastal Barangays Magsalangi and Calasuche.

“The BFAR-Provincial Fisheries Office of Masbate had collected shellfish meat leftovers and plankton samples in the area for laboratory examination. The BFAR-Bicol continues to warn the public to refrain from gathering, selling, transporting, and consuming shellfish and ‘alamang’ (shrimp fry) from the affected areas while red tide alert is currently up in the coastal waters of Milagros, Masbate to prevent possible health hazard,” Enolva said.