Conch poisoning cases increase

Cases of reported conch poisoning are on the rise in the capital, according to Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands

The health minister confirmed Tuesday that over three dozen persons have sought medical attention for conch poisoning since the Ministry of Health announced that there was a new outbreak in New Providence nearly one month ago.

Luckily, there have been no reports of conch poisoning in the Family Islands.

Dr. Sands confirmed that the outbreak has been isolated to New Providence.

“We can now confirm 25 clinical cases with laboratory confirmation, an additional 15 clinical cases that meet the definition still awaiting finalization of their laboratory data,” Dr. Sands shared.

“So, there may be as many as 40 clinical cases that might have been presented to hospital.

“There are some people who get conch poisoning and it’s not severe enough where they have to come to the hospital for treatment.”

The health minister continued to issue warning to patrons and vendors.

“I continue to say that this is a preventable problem, so to the vendors you have to wash the conch in fresh water,” he said.

“To the patrons, it is a good idea to insist that it is washed in fresh water.”

Conch poisoning occurs when raw conch meat is not thoroughly washed in fresh water.

Bacteria which resides on the skin of conch is what leads to the treacherous poisoning if it is not properly washed.

The most recent major outbreak of conch poisoning in The Bahamas dates back to the 1990’s.