CHP investigates suspected ciguatoxin poisoning case involving 2 men who consumed fish bought from Aberdeen

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Hong Kong Government Press Release

28th March 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today investigating a suspected ciguatoxin poisoning case affecting two persons.

The case involved a 61-year-old man and a 64-year-old man. They developed symptoms of ciguatoxin poisoning including abdominal pain, diarrhoea, dizziness, limb numbness, nausea and rash about three to nine hours after consuming fish for dinner at their workplace on 24th March. The 61-year-old man attended the Accident and Emergency Department of United Christian Hospital today and was diagnosed to be suffering from ciguatoxin poisoning. He has been discharged and is in stable condition.

 Initial enquiries revealed that the fish consumed was bought from a fish stall in Aberdeen on 24th March.

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 their joints and muscles.