Q:

Can you get Pfiesteria from eating shellfish?

A:

Quick Answer

Eating shellfish will not cause a person to get sick from Pfiesteria. According to the Virginia Department of Health, shellfish are safe to eat.

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Full Answer

Pfiesteria is a dinoflagellate — a microscopic organism that has behaviors of both a plant and an animal. It can produce a toxin during some of its life stages. This toxin is harmful to fish and shellfish.

Although shellfish are safe to eat, do not eat shellfish or fish from areas with a large number of dead or sick fish as a general safety precaution. There could be other organisms that could be causing this to occur, and they could be spread through eating contaminated shellfish and fish.

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