Gonyaulax catanella (popularly known as red tide) is a species of plankton that produces a toxin ingested by shellfish along the North American coasts. Anyone eating shellfish contaminated with red tide can become sick. The type of shellfish poisoning caused by these toxic forms of red tide comes in three forms: neurotoxic shellfish poisoning, erythematous shellfish poisoning, and paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). Each has quite different etiology, symptoms and prognosis for recovery, but of the three, pSp is by far the most serious. There is no known antidote for these types of shellfish poisoning; administration of prostigmine may be effective, together with artificial respiration and oxygen as needed.
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