Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 4.36.09 PM

A 23-year-old woman died and over 40 people have been hospitalized after eating toxic mussels caused by the red-tide phenomenon in Kota Kinabalu. The victims were rushed to three hospitals after eating the muscles bought at the Inanam night market and collected along the Likas Bay area.

Dr Christina Rundi, Sabah Health Director, said 43 people, aged between two and 70, were being treated at the hospital and one man is in critical condition. She advises that people should avoid bullying, selling and collecting shellfish like clams and mussels.

6336811-pile-of-clams-in-a-fish-and-seafood-marketImage

The red-tide phenomenon is caused by a deadly algae bloom, which produces harmful effects to marine life, and turns the water red. Shellfish such as clams, oysters and mussels are prone to accumulate the deadly toxins from the red tide as they are filter feeders, whereby they eat by straining food particles from water, including toxic algae.

Sabah Fisheries Department director, Rayner Stuel Galid warned people against consuming clams and other shellfish until further notice. Fish, cuttlefish and prawns are safe, however they have to be washed thoroughly before they are cooked. (Source)

In the meantime, we highly advise everyone to cut down on shellfish intake for a few days due to this health scare.