An algal bloom in three bays has caused the Texas Department of State Health Services to close those bays to shellfish harvesting and to issue a recall of oysters, clams and mussels taken from Aransas, Corpus Christi and Copano bays.
Shellfish taken from these areas look, smell and taste normal, but may contain levels of a heat-stable chemical, okadaic acid that exceed federal guidelines for this naturally occurring toxin. Okadaic acid can cause vomiting, nausea, cramps and diarrhea.
Symptoms of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning can appear from 30 minutes to 12 hours after eating the toxic shellfish, and may last 2-3 days.
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