63-year-old woman suffers from ciguatoxin poisoning after eating fish bought from a restaurant in San Po Kong

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15th August 2022 – (Hong Kong)  The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating today a suspected ciguatoxin poisoning case affecting one person.

The affected 63-year-old female developed symptoms of ciguatoxin poisoning including abdominal pain, diarrhoea, dizziness, generalised weakness, limb numbness, nausea and vomiting about five hours after consuming fish for dinner at home on 13th August. She attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Queen Elizabeth Hospital on 14th August and was admitted for treatment. She is in a stable condition.

Initial enquiries revealed that the fish consumed was bought from a restaurant in San Po Kong on 13th August.

Ciguatera fish poisoning is not uncommon in tropical areas. It is mainly associated with the consumption of large coral reef fish which have accumulated the toxin in the body, particularly in internal organs, through eating small fish that consumed toxic algae in coral reef seas.

 A larger fish is therefore more likely to carry higher amounts of the toxin. However, it is not easy to tell from the appearance of the fish whether it contains the toxin.

 People affected may have symptoms of numbness of the mouth and limbs, vomiting, diarrhoea, alternating sensations of coldness and hotness, and pain in the joints and muscles.

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