Categorized | National News

Conch Poisoning Victims Increasing

Conch poisoning cases are becoming increasingly harder to treat, according to Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands. He confirmed that there are now 27 confirmed cases of the illness.

In addition, there are 22 cases awaiting lab results.  Among those now suffering from the illness are tourists.

“Cases from the early part of this outbreak were relatively sensitive to a whole number of antibiotics that can be taken by mouth.

“We have seen increasing numbers of resistant vibrioparahaemolyticus that are not sensitive to the usual antibiotics. What that means is that those persons are harder to treat and their syndromes are more severe,” Dr. Sands said.

The increase has again found the Minister reiterating the advice he has shared from day one – and that is for vendors to thoroughly wash the conch in fresh water.

Dr. Sands said, “there will be inspection teams verifying that people are actually following the recommended approach to conch preparation.

“The legislation allows for the various government agencies to shut down any persons who do not comply with the requirements of the law.”

While conch poisoning cases predominately stem from Potter’s Cay, there are other venues as well.

The Minister said, “we can now confirm that the vibro cases have been primarily at Potter’s Cay. As we get additional information then we will advise the public,” the health minister said.

Dr. Sands further advises the public that if they consume conch from places that do not use fresh water, then they will be doing so at their own risk.

Minister of Marine Resources Michael Pintard said that the Ministry of Environment does regular inspections of these areas to ensure that these stalls are up to code.

His  Ministry also has persons stationed at these locations that sell raw conch cuisines.

Proprietors and landlords are reminded of their responsibility to provide access to running water in restaurants and food preparation establishments.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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