The different types of shellfish poisoning are Paralytic, Diarrheal, Neurotoxic and Amnesic. Fan scallops, mussels, clams and oysters are the common shellfish that cause poisoning.
Shellfish are filter feeders and can ingest toxic algae. These toxins accumulate in their bodies, and the more toxins that accumulate increases the risk of seafood contamination. Paralytic shellfish poisoning is the most common type of shellfish poisoning. Symptoms include tingling or numbness in the arms, legs and lips with gastrointestinal discomfort. In severe cases, it may cause respiratory arrest and death. Diarrheal shellfish poisoning causes diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and cramps, but the sufferer usually recovers after a few days. Neurotoxic shellfish poisoning causes tingling in the facial muscles, but it is rare and nonlife-threatening. Amnesic shellfish poisoning symptoms include vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, headache, and the loss of short-term memory. This type of shellfish poisoning is life threatening.