Tropical fish poisoning hit NYC in 2011-12

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
February 4, 2013

Nearly 30 people in New York City were sickened by ciguatera fish poisoning between August of 2011 and July of 2012, marking a sharp increase in recorded cases for the area, according to a new government report.

Ciguatera fish poisoning, or CFP, arises from eating tropical reef fish that have accumulated ciguatoxins. CFP can cause an array of problems, from gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea to cardiovascular symptoms such as irregular heartbeat and dizziness to neurological symptoms, including numbness or tingling and difficulty walking.

In the 10 years before the time period covered by this study, only 21 CFP illnesses were reported in the city. Then, over the course of the year included in this analysis, 28 cases were reported to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

This spike might have been due to better reporting and investigative capabilities, say the authors, or it may have been due to a change in the diversity of species marketed in the city.

The majority of the patients who fell ill during this time (15) were sickened after eating grouper, while 13 had eaten barracuda before their illnesses.

The cases were linked to six different outbreaks, with one person experiencing a spontaneous illness.

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