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Ciguatera Poisoning – Signs and Symptoms

Ciguatera poisoning is a form of seafood poisioning which is primarily caused by eating contaminated fish, especially specific tropical reef fish. These contaminated fish contain either one or more neurotoxins from the family of maititoxins and ciguatoxins. These are naturally occurring neurotoxins. Ciguatera poisoning can occur because of occupational exposure to these fish during processing or repetitive handling of fish. Read on to know more about the signs and symptoms of the ciguatera poisoning.

Ciguatera is considered to be one of the most common type of seafood poisoning around the world. The number of infected cases ranges from 50,000 – 1,000,000 every year. On the contrary, only 2% to 10% of cases actually get reported. Also, many medical representatives have never heard of ciguatera poisoning.

Signs and Symptoms of Ciguatera Poisoning

The signs and symptoms of this disease include neurological, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular as well as other symptoms. These include:

Neurological Symptoms

  • Pain on urination
  • Psychiatric
  • Tremor
  • Blurred vision
  • Dental pain
  • Vertigo
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Paraesthesias in extreme conditions like pain, burning, tingling and numbness

Gastrointestinal Symptoms

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Dyspepsia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Cardiovascular Symptoms

  • Sudden spikes in blood pressure (Rise in blood pressure)
  • Arrhythmia (Irregular heart beat)
  • Hypotension (Low blood pressure)
  • Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
  • Bradycardia (Slow heart rate)

Other Symptoms of Ciguatera Poisoning

The several other symptoms of this disease include:

  • Metallic taste in mouth
  • Depression
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Ataxia
  • Headache
  • Stiffness in neck
  • Dyspnea
  • Breathing disorder
  • Salivation
  • Myalgia
  • Arthralgia
  • Rash and itching
  • Dermatitis

Hence, if you experience any of the above mentioned signs and symptoms after consuming a tropical reef fish , it is important that you consult a doctor immediately for a proper diagnosis and treatment for ciguatera poisoning.

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