Published on: Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Kota Kinabalu: It is unlikely for one to ingest lots of red tide water to cause poisoning, according to State Health Director Dr Christina Rundi.
She said this in response to speculations that the 24-year-old man who died on Monday after he went diving off Pulau Tigabu in Kudat, just a day earlier, was due to swallowing a lot of red tide water.
Misran Ahmad, fell seriously ill and started vomiting after he went diving at 6pm on Jan 6, resulting in him being rushed to the Kudat Hospital were he died at 2pm on Monday. His death was classified as sudden death by the police.
"The man's death was not due to ingestion of red tide water because it is unlikely that he ingested lots of water to cause poisoning," said Dr Rundi.
On another note, she said, there is discolouration of the sea during red tide (usually reddish) so people are aware that something is wrong with the water and won't drink it.
"However, there have been reports elsewhere in the world that swimming in the red tide can cause skin or eye irritation but not death.
"So far, death can occur when eating shellfish because shellfish accumulate toxins in their tissues and, therefore, have high concentration of toxins to be fatal," she said.