June 28, 2012 | Vol. 110, No. 26

Red tide alert issued for Southeast

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — State health officials have issued a warning against harvesting shellfish in southeast Alaska, citing the presence of a toxic algae bloom called a “red tide.”

Officials say water samples from around Etolin Island show increasing levels of Alexandrium algae. The algae cause paralytic shellfish poisoning in shellfish.

According to officials, tests also show extremely high levels of the algae around Juneau and a slight increase in levels on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island.

Officials say paralytic shellfish poisoning can cause paralysis and suspected cases should be reported.

Scientists also have identified unsafe levels of three different species of Dinophysis algae in Ketchikan.

The algae causes shellfish poisoning and can cause diarrhea.

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