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Aug 18, 2017

Warning Issued for Ciguatera Fish Poisoning

The Ministry of Health says that suspected fish poisoning, specifically Ciguatera poisoning, was detected in persons who had consumed barracuda bought from a vendor in Ladyville, Belize District.   The toxin does not affect the appearance, odor or taste; and freezing or cooking the contaminated fish will not prevent the poisoning. Individuals, who have come in contact with Ciguatera poisoning can “experience many symptoms including tingling and numbness in fingers, toes, around lips, tongue, mouth and throat; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal cramps, joint pains, headache, and difficulty breathing.” Stomach pains normally appear within twenty-four hours of exposure and those of the nervous system can appear one to two days later. The Ministry of Health warns that other fish such as the coral trout, red snapper, parrot fish, grouper, Spanish mackerel, wrasse, reef cod and moray eel may also cause ciguatera poisoning.  While most symptoms disappear after a few days, complete recovery happens after a few weeks. The release ends by advising consumers to avoid eating the head, roe or fish eggs, liver or other organs of the fish where the highest level of toxin is present.

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