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Person Hospitalized With Shellfish Poisoning After Eating Mussels in Marin County

Marin County Public Health officials confirmed Tuesday a person was hospitalized with shellfish poisoning after eating mussels harvested from Dillon Beach.

The poisoning comes just days after health officials issued a warning against harvesting potentially lethal shellfish from the waters off three county coasts, including Dillon Beach, just west of Tomales.

The person, who was not identified, was stricken with paralytic shellfish poison after eating mussels on Sunday. The victim had neurological symptoms consistent with shellfish poisoning, according to Public Health Officer Dr. Matthew Willis, who was notified of the illness Tuesday.

"The person is getting better," Willis said in a statement. "Fortunately, the clinician was aware of the elevated PSP levels in locally sport-harvested shellfish and made a timely diagnosis."

PSP is a marine toxin that causes illness through the consumption of contaminated shellfish, and cooking the shellfish does not alleviate the toxicity, officials said. Symptoms include tingling, numbness, headaches, dizziness, nausea, rapid pain, or respiratory problems.

There have been 542 reported illnesses and 39 deaths attributed to PSP in California over the past 90 years, according to state statistics, health officials said.

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