shellfish poisoning

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Shellfish feed by filtering water through their bodies, so they tend to collect a variety of toxic substances not necessarily harmful to themselves but harmful to anyone who eats the shellfish. The best known form is caused by toxic algae, but it can also be caused by toxic chemicals, such as mercury, as was the case with Minamata disease. Shellfish such as oysters that feed on water contaminated by human sewage can transmit hepatitis A, typhoid, etc.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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