Saturday marked the start of the annual quarantine of sport-harvested mussels along the California coast.
“The quarantine is in place to protect the public against poisoning that can lead to severe illness, including coma and death,” said Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health.
The quarantine is meant to keep the public from paralytic shellfish poisoning and domoic acid poisoning, both of which occur from eating filter-feeding shellfish such as mussels. Most cases of human poisoning occur between spring and fall.
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PSP affects the nervous system, producing a tingling around the mouth and fingertips within a few minutes to hours of eating toxic shellfish. Symptoms that follow include loss of balance and muscular coordination, slurred speech and difficulty swallowing. In severe cases, complete paralysis and death from asphyxiation can occur.
Domoic acid poisoning symptoms can develop within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating seafood that is toxic. Symptoms range from vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, headache and dizziness to excessive bronchial secretions, difficulty breathing, confusion, seizures, permanent loss of short-term memory, coma and death.
The ban covers all bays, harbors and estuaries, and typically runs through Oct. 31.
Sport fishing is affected, but commercial operations that produce shellfish are not under the same quarantine. That is because such operations must meet strict standards to ensure no toxins are in their product.
For more information on the quarantine or shellfish toxins, call the state health department at 800-553-4133.
— Tribune staff report
Volunteers of all ages are invited to donate their time before, during and after the California Mid-State Fair with its Friends of the Fair program.
Duties include: building new props for display use, painting exhibit areas, preparing exhibit entries, working as clerks during the judging process, setting up entry displays and being greeters at the gates.
Download an application at www.midstatefair.com or pick one up at the fair office, 2198 Riverside Ave. Applications are due by June 25.
The 2010 California Mid-State Fair runs July 21 through Aug. 1.
— Tonya Strickland
Arroyo Grande is offering a full-day summer child-care program from June 16 though Aug. 13 for children 5 to 13 years old.
The Children in Motion program will be held at Harloe Elementary School from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at 901 Fair Oaks Ave. Children will participate in board games, crafts, contests, coloring, sports and local field trips.
Advance registration is required and can be done at the Recreation Division Office at 1221 Ash St. The cost for Arroyo Grande residents is $96 for three days a week, $120 for four days a week or $140 for five years a week, plus a $25 registration fee. Non-residents would pay $102, $128 or $150 for three, four or five days per week, respectively.
For more information, call 473-5484.
— Cynthia Lambert
Network television is taking yet another look at Hearst Castle, according to Nick Franco of State Parks.
Charles Osgood, host of the CBS “Sunday Morning” show, and a large crew are expected to film at the Castle on May 17 and 18 for a segment that could air May 23 (locally on Charter cable channel 12).
The segment apparently will be for an occasional feature of the show about famous houses.
The castle also is to be featured as part of a segment about Cambria, Highway 1 and Big Sur on NBC’s weekend “Today” show May 15 (locally on Charter cable channel 4).
— Kathe Tanner
The Tribune is seeking a volunteer temporary weather watcher for the community of Templeton. If you are currently keeping track of temperatures and rainfall in the area and wouldn’t mind sharing that information with The Tribune, please phone Sharon Morem at 781-7937.