BANGOR (AP) – Two people who suffered the worst symptoms after eating contaminated mussels are showing signs of recovery, officials said Thursday.

Randy Beal of Harrington was upgraded Thursday evening to serious condition and his wife Brenda was upgraded to fair condition, according to a nursing supervisor at Eastern Maine Medical Center, where they were being treated.

Both were initially categorized as critical. Two other family members required hospitalization after eating the tainted mussels.

The tainted mussels came from a barrel found floating in the ocean, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Randy Beal, a lobsterman, scraped off the mussels and brought them home for a family meal.

After the family took ill, samples of the mussels were tested and found to have high levels of a marine biotoxin, commonly called “red tide.”

Four family members were diagnosed with paralytic shellfish poisoning. It’s the first documented case since at least 1980 in Maine.


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