Fish like grouper, barracuda may pose food-poisoning risk

January 31, 2013
Fish like grouper, barracuda may pose food-poisoning risk
They can sometimes contain toxin that can't be detected before eating, CDC warns.

(HealthDay)—People who eat large, tropical predatory reef fish such as barracuda and grouper may be at risk for a form of food poisoning called ciguatera fish poisoning, U.S. health officials reported Thursday.

Illness occurs when people eat fish that contain toxins produced by a called Gambierdiscus toxicus, according to the U.S. .

Some symptoms of ciguatera poisoning—such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea—resemble other types of food poisoning. But ciguatera poisoning also causes such as difficulty walking, weakness, tooth pain, and reverse temperature sensation (for example, cold things feel hot and hot things feel cold) that can persist for months, the CDC report said.

There's no cure for ciguatera but the symptoms can be treated and usually go away in days or weeks. However, symptoms can last for years in some people.

The CDC report said there was a significant increase in ciguatera poisoning cases in New York City among people who ate locally purchased barracuda or grouper in 2010 and 2011. Until then, ciguatera poisoning was fairly uncommon in the city.

During the period August 2010 through July 2011, city health officials received reports of six outbreaks and one single case of ciguatera fish poisoning, involving a total of 28 people. One of the patients was a physically active man who swam more than two miles a day before his illness. After the start of symptoms, he had trouble walking that lasted for several months, the CDC report said.

Ciguatoxins don't hurt the fish. And fish with the toxins don't look sick and don't appear, smell or taste different than fish without the toxins, the researchers noted.

Currently, there is no practical way to test fish for the toxins before they're sold. So prevention efforts depend on knowing which have that might contain the toxins, along with accurate diagnosis of patients and consistent reporting of cases to public health agencies, according to the report, which is published in the Feb. 1 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Explore further: Researchers identify nerves associated with ciguatera, deadly tropical disease

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about ciguatera.

Related Stories

Researchers identify nerves associated with ciguatera, deadly tropical disease

December 11, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers from The University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) have identified the nerves involved in the painful tropical disease called ciguatera.

Ciguatera fish poisoning a significant public health concern

September 11, 2012
(Phys.org)—A team of international marine scientists has reported a 60 per cent increase in the incidence of cases of Ciguatera poisoning among people living in Pacific Island nations.

Recommended for you

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.