25 red tide poisoning victims in Masbate now in stable condition
By Connie Calipay
LEGAZPI City --- All 25 people who fell ill due to red tide poisoning in Milagros town, Masbate province are now in stable condition, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Bicol (BFAR-5) bared on Thursday.
“We don't have a casualty. All patients are in stable condition but are still recuperating, the 25 individuals, including four minors manifested symptoms such as vomiting and stomach pain. 11 of them were admitted at the Rural Health Unit of Milagros while 14 others were endorsed to the Masbate Provincial Hospital,” BFAR-5 spokesperson Nonie Enolva said in an interview.
Enolva said the victims were downed after eating “katipay” or “tipay” (windowpane oyster) and baliad (goldlip/blacklip pearl oyster) on Oct. 10.
The incident happened two days after BFAR-5 had warned of an existing shellfish ban due to the presence of red tide along the coastal waters of Milagros.
Enolva also said they are looking for possible alternative livelihoods for the fisherfolk affected by the red tide.
“If the area is suitable for seaweed farming and they want the meantime to shift from fishing to seaweed culture, we can provide them with start-up materials, or if they are fisher household we can check what possible livelihood needs, and if it is available in our office we can also provide. It is important that the intervention that will be given is suitable for their livelihood,” Enolva said.
The BFAR-Provincial Fisheries Office of Masbate collected shellfish meat leftovers and plankton samples in the area for laboratory examination.
The BFAR-5 continues to warn the public to refrain from gathering, selling, transporting, and consuming shellfish and “alamang” (krill) from the affected areas while the red tide alert is currently up in the coastal waters of Milagros. (PNA)