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What is Ciguatera Fish Poisoning?

About Ciguatera

Of the many known seafood illnesses, Ciguatera Fish Poisoning is the most reported among travelers and occurs when people ingest ciguatoxins. All kinds of reef fish produce the toxin, the following species are most susceptible: red snapper, barracuda, moray eel, parrotfish, grouper, hogfish, kingfish, amberjack, sea bass, sturgeon fish, and coral trout.

Ciguatera fish poisoning is prevalent in subtropical and tropical regions, especially in the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Pacific Ocean. Contaminated fish harbor the toxins in the intestines, liver, roe, and head. Ciguatoxins remain even if fish is preserved by salting, freezing, or smoking. Storms are most likely to trigger an outbreak of Ciguatera fish poisoning. 

Ciguatera Symptoms

Symptoms usually occur within 1-3 hrs following ingestion and include nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Neurological problems may follow within 3 - 72 hrs and are characterized by metallic taste, blurred vision, feeling of loss of teeth, tingling sensation, temperature reversal, and temporary loss of vision. Symptoms may resolve within days or persist for weeks. Chronically ill individuals may experience depression, headache, fatigue, muscle pain, low blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat. 

Ciguatera Treatment

A physician will exam symptoms and guide the best course of treatment. Intravenous mannitol may be administered to address neurological problems. No vaccine is available. Test kits are expensive and not 100% reliable.

Ciguatera Prevention

To reduce your risk of Ciguatera fish poisoning, avoid reef fish weighing 6 lbs and above and don’t consume the intestines, roe, liver, and heads of smaller ones.  

Read more

Recent Ciguatera Reports

I ordered yesterday the crayfish salad from here. Within 9 hours I was violently sick all through out the night combined with awful diarrhoea.
I can only just about hold water down now. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting See Less

Closure Date: 09/07/2022

The owner agreed to close the establishment due to the presence of live roaches throughout the kitchen and dining room. During the visit, the inspector observed raw fish stored in a bucket in the dining room without any temperature control.

The inspector also noted... See More the presence of multiple take-home frozen meals that were not marked with their preparation dates.

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About an 2 hours after eating the Atlantic cod fish the nausea started followed by excessive diarrhea, and then projectile vommiting. Will never eat there again. Woke up this morning with severe headache and still nauseated. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Headache See Less

Ate Ben and Jerry’s dairy free fish food iceceam . 2 hours later spent the night on the toilet had thrown up . I do love it . But guess it don’t love me . I tried it 3 times and always the same | Symptoms: Diarrhea, Vomiting See Less

Went here to get a high chair for our 9 month old. Decided to have some lunch as it was getting late. My boyfriend got me their salmon platter our two boys had chicken strips. The fish smelled strongly... we should have asked for a refund but... See More we had 3 kids with us and I had a sprained ankle so I just ate it. When we got home my stomach started to turn. I spent most of the night in the bathroom getting sick... throwing up salmon. It was awful, especially with having to use crutches for my ankle I couldn't leave the bathroom. My boyfriend had to care for our baby and I wasn't able to breastfeed him at all last night. I'm still sick a day later. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting See Less

Reply 2 days ago
Yesterday, Not sure. Probably a restaurant there. Was probably the fish. We ate here .
It may have also been from a stroodle we bought on the beach. Who knows! We are both recovering well now:) | Symptoms: Diarrhea, Nausea, Vomiting See Less

Bought óreos and gold fish that have caused my kid’s stomach aches and vomiting. It’s been a few days since I bought them but it happened to all my kids. | Symptoms: Nausea, Vomiting, Stomach Pain See Less

Symptoms began yesterday, meal consumed at around 8 pm on Saturday, Possibly a dish with fish. Food consumed 8 pm on Saturday, symptoms began exactly 24 hours later. Symptoms included long term bouts of vomiting in intervals of 1-2 hours, fever, weakness in legs, severe abdominal pain, chills | Symptoms: Fever, Vomiting, Weakness, Chills, Diarrhea, Nausea, Stomach Pain See Less

When I picked up my groceries the outdoor freezer unit must have been down because there was a chain link fence blocking the normal pick up location. My groceries were outside in totes. I had worked 72 hours in seven days the day I picked up groceries... See More and I was very tired. I just went straight home and put all the groceries in my fridge. The milk was warm, and the pizzas were not cold. But I didn’t think too much about it I just put the food away. I did not eat any of the shell fish thank goodness. The crab legs had leaked through the brown butcher paper. I ate one and half pizzas over a weeks time and I drank about 30% of the milk. I am and did have all the symptoms of food poisoning. I am hydrating and I saw my physician last Thursday. My symptoms have subsided other than headaches. I am doing better but I lost my new job because I was sick. | Symptoms: Diarrhea, Nausea, Vomiting See Less

09/16/2022, Sushi Fish didn’t taste fresh but anyway I decided to give it a try. And after a few hours I felt so bad both having diarheah and vomiting. My husband had just the first Symptome,  it he ate mostly rolls not “fresh” fish | Symptoms: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Nausea See Less

Last 30 days