18 December 2012

• 18 Months Later, Ciguatera Is Nothing to Mess With

“It took them a week to diagnose Ms Austrin with ciguatera poisoning.

”The toxin, which is produced by tiny organisms in tropical and subtropical waters around the Pacific Islands and northern parts of eastern Australia, sticks to coral reefs, seaweed and algae and is eaten by small herbivorous fish.”

Source: ODT.Co.NZ

Note: Wikipedia says, "Due to the limited habitats of ciguatoxin-producing microorganisms, ciguatera is common in only subtropical and tropical waters, particularly the Pacific and Caribbean, and usually is associated with fish caught in tropical reef waters. Ciguatoxin is found in over 400 species of reef fish. Avoiding consumption of all reef fish (any fish living in warm tropical waters) is the only sure way to avoid exposure. Imported fish served in restaurants may contain the toxin and produce illness which often goes unexplained by physicians unfamiliar with the symptoms of a tropical toxin. Ciguatoxin can also occur in farm-raised salmon. Furthermore, species substitution, labeling a reef fish as a non-reef fish at restaurants and retail, can complicate efforts by consumers to avoid ciguatera.

"Ciguatoxin is odourless, tasteless and very heat-resistant, so ciguatoxin-laden fish cannot be detoxified by conventional cooking.
"There is no effective treatment or antidote for ciguatera poisoning." Wiki also says it can be passed on through intercourse and breast milk.

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