Health officials looking into recent cases of ciguatera poisoning

Local News

The Hawaii State Health Department recently identified several cases of ciguatera poisoning.

Those who got sick recently ate ulua caught off the northwest coast of the Big Island.

Symptoms usually begin within a few minutes to six hours after eating an infected fish. Symptoms include vomiting, itching, dizziness, and a burning sensation around the mouth, hands and feet.

People who have ciguatera may also find that cold things feel hot and hot things feel cold. Ciguatera has no cure. While symptoms usually go away in days or weeks, they can last for years.

Ciguatera fish poisoning is an illness caused by eating tropical reef fish that have accumulated the cigatoxin poison from either ingesting a marine microalgae called Gambierdiscus toxicus, or by predatory fish that eat fish that ingest the microalgae.

To prevent from getting sick, do not eat the head, guts, liver or roe of any reef fish. Cooking, drying, salting or freezing odes not kill the poison causing ciguatera fish poisoning.

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