Indonesia: Fourteen still hospitalized after eating green mussels

Andi Hajramurni The Jakarta Post 1 Sep 16;

Fourteen people were still being treated at hospitals in Jeneponto regency and Makassar (South Sulawesi) as of Thursday, after eating green mussels taken from a local beach.

The food poisoning incident killed two people and caused symptoms in 63 residents from Mallasoro village in Bangkala district, Jeneponto, South Sulawesi, on Tuesday. The fatalities were Muna Daeng Angki, 45, and Daeng Bombong, 40.

The Jeneponto administration has called on residents not to consume green mussels for a period of time.

Hajrah, 43, said she ate green mussels for breakfast on Tuesday morning. Soon afterward, she felt dizzy, her lips thickened and her arms and neck felt stiff. She said she had eaten green mussels since she was a child, but it was the first time she had been fallen ill from them.

An official at the Jeneponto Health Agency, Suryaningrat, said cases of food poisoning began to be seen on Sunday but peaked on Tuesday.

Suryaningrat said on Wednesday that he had sent samples of green mussels to a laboratory.

Jeneponto Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Joko Sumarno, meanwhile, said he had sent samples of vomit to the South Sulawesi forensics lab.

However, not all residents who ate the shellfish were poisoned.

“Until Tuesday afternoon, I was still eating the same batch of green mussels. But I am fine,” said Marintang, 39, also from Mallasoro.

Villagers said this year’s green mussels season was the biggest in history. They had been harvesting mussels since June, collecting them on the beach when the tide receded. “We could take a sack of mussels home this season,” Mustari, 36, said. (evi)

Two die after consuming green mussels
Andi Hajramurni The Jakarta Post 1 Sep 16;

At least two people died and 63 others were rushed to hospitals and clinics after consuming green mussels in Mallasoro village, Bangkala district, Jeneponto, South Sulawesi, on Tuesday.

As of Wednesday, 24 people were still being treated at three hospitals and two clinics in Mallasoro, Bangkala, Jeneponto and Makassar.

Jeneponto Deputy Regent Mulyadi Mustamu said local people in Bangkala had consumed green mussels for generations, but this time they fell ill.

“This is an extraordinary incident. This is the first time people have been poisoned and two died,” he said.

Two weeks ago, 14 residents of Bonto Ujung village also fell sick after consuming mussels, but no one died. In an anticipatory measure, the regency administration has temporarily banned people from eating mussels.