Tropical Fish Poisoning
One of the most mysterious and worst tropical maladies is fish poisoning, a severe illness caused when you eat a fish containing ciguatera toxins. Symptoms of fish poisoning are severe nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and weakness. In addition, there are neurological symptoms such as tingling feet and hands, itchiness, and the sensation of hot things feeling cold and cold things feeling hot. Muscle weakness and pain in the bones and joints are also symptoms.
Depending on the severity of the case, symptoms can range from mild to completely debilitating. If you experience any of the symptoms, think of whether you have eaten fish in the last 24 hours. In many cases, hospitalization is required to prevent dehydration.
Unless you swear off tropical fish all together, there is no sure way to avoid fish poisoning. Restaurants, groceries, and reputable fishermen use testing kits to determine if fish will poison. The best way to avoid fish poisoning is to buy fish from people, restaurants, or stores that you trust.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition