Predatory tropical fish and subtropical reef fish, including amberjack, grouper, banaanda, hogfish, triggerfish, snapper, mullet and moray eels, can carry ciguatoxin, a seafood toldn that causes a food poisoning called ciguatera. The ciguatoxin does not affect the fish's taste, odor or color and is not eliminated by cooking. Those eating seafood in tropical areas such as Hawaii and the northern Caribbean are most at risk.
Victims experience cramping, diarrhea and nausea starting several hours after consumption. Headache, muscle pain, dizziness and tingling or numbing of the lips may follow. In extreme cases, sufferers can experience cold-hot reversal—hot things feel cold and vice versa. Symptoms last one to four weeks but may recur for up to six months. See a doctor immediately if you think you might be infected. Treatment with intravenous mannitol has been shown to relieve symptoms effectively.
Want to Keep Reading?
Continue reading with a Health Confidential membership.