Manatee County teens hospitalized after eating fish

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Are you concerned about catching ciguatera from eating reef fish?

Two Manatee County teens were recently hospitalized after getting ciguatera poisoning from a fish they caught in the Bahamas.

Total Votes: 103


Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014 11:00 am

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- We've had a lot of great fish tales on our broadcasts this week, but this one may make you think twice the next time you eat seafood.

Two Manatee County teens became violently ill recently after eating fish they caught during a trip to the Bahamas, and both were diagnosed with ciguatera poisoning.

Austin Goncalves and his friend Marlin Ellis caught a lot of fish on a recent trip to the Bahamas. What they also caught was something that sent both to a hospital in Miami.

They were all sick; throwing up, hallucinating, and going unconscious,” says Christina Martin, Austin’s sister.

The two friends were diagnosed with ciguatera poisoning after eating one of the fish. “We don't know which fish it is…either snapper or porgie.”

The toxin is found in large reef fish that eat smaller fish which have consumed the toxin-producing algae.

Seafood lovers will never know if a fish has it. “When one eats the fish, there is no taste, odor, and no indication of filets that have toxins,” says Tom Larkin on Manatee County Environmental Health.

You will know once the symptoms hit you. “It's going to be very painful…a lot of muscle and ab pain and weakness,” says Ronald Cox of Manatee County Health Epidemiology.

In some rare cases, it can even be deadly.

Fortunately, for these two young anglers, the worst is behind them.

MORE: Fish known to carry ciguatoxins

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1 comment:

  • MCTelecom posted at 9:44 am on Sat, Jul 19, 2014.

    MCTelecom Posts: 3

    This article is inaccurate when the reporter say " Seafood lovers will never know if a fish has it. ", you can tell when a fish have siguatera !, when you grab the fish the scales will get loose without any effort specially in barracudas..
    I'm from Cuba born and raised in a small coast town and we use to catch a lot of fish with siguatera and that's one of the ways we use, also trow a piece of fish to a cat if is infected the cat will no eat it !, I have a friend got really sick with siguatera at 16 years old got bold and the hair never grow back also loss the eyesight from the right eye !!


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