The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating a suspected case of puffer fish poisoning affecting a man aged 51 and hence reminds members of the public not to consume puffer fish.
The patient developed weakness and numbness in limbs about four hours after consuming puffer fish given by his friend for dinner at home on January 1. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department (AED) of Caritas Medical Centre and was admitted to the observation ward of the AED. He is currently in stable condition.
Investigations by the CHP are continuing.
A spokesman for the CHP explained that consumption of puffer fish is the main cause of food poisoning from tetrodotoxin. Tetrodotoxin is a potent water-soluble neurotoxin that can affect the central nervous system.
“Organs such as the liver, gonads and skin of puffer fish have high concentrations of tetrodotoxin. Being heat-stable, the toxin does not decompose upon cooking, boiling, drying or freezing. Tetrodotoxin intoxication can cause problems in respiration or circulation and is potentially fatal. There is no known antidote or antitoxin. The public is advised to avoid purchasing and preparing puffer fish or unknown fish for consumption themselves to prevent tetrodotoxin-related food poisoning,” the spokesman added.