Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Fish Like Grouper, Barracuda May Pose Food-Poisoning Risk

Fish Like Grouper, Barracuda May Pose Food-Poisoning Risk

01/31/13

THURSDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- 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 marine algae called Gambierdiscus toxicus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some symptoms of ciguatera poisoning -- such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea -- resemble other types of food poisoning. But ciguatera poisoning also causes neurological symptoms 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 fishing areas have fish 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.

More information

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

Health NewsCopyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Hospital Receives Quality Achievement Award for Exemplary Stroke Care
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >