By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) reported Friday the investigation of two suspected ciguatoxin poisoning cases.

Hong Kong/CIA

The cases, one male and one female, aged 9 and 16 respectively, who developed symptoms of ciguatoxin poisoning including nausea and tongue numbness about 30 minutes to one and a half hours after consuming a marine fish at a restaurant in To Kwa Wan Thursday.

Both patients are now in stable condition.

Ciguatera fish poisoning is not uncommon in tropical areas. It is mainly associated with the consumption of big coral reef fish which have accumulated the toxin in the body, particularly in internal organs, through eating small fish that consumed toxic algae in coral reef seas.

A larger fish is therefore more likely to carry higher amounts of the toxin. However, it is not easy to tell from the appearance of the fish whether it contains the toxin.

People affected may show symptoms of numbness of the mouth and limbs, vomiting, diarrhea, alternating sensations of coldness and hotness, and pain in the joints and muscles.

“Most people affected by ciguatoxin will recover without long-term health effects, but if excessive toxins are consumed, the circulatory and nervous systems can be affected. The toxin cannot be destroyed by cooking,” a CHP spokesman said.