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Published On: Mon, Sep 23rd, 2013

Ten people on the French Island of Réunion sickened with pufferfish poisoning are released from hospital

Ten people who were sickened and hospitalized from tetrodotoxin poisoning after consuming pufferfish, or fugu two weeks ago have been released from the hospital, according to the Regional Health Agency, Indian Ocean.

The people, from the French Island of Réunion have returned home after the more than week long hospitalization.

Public domain photo/Jh12 via wikimedia commons

Public domain photo/Jh12 via wikimedia commons

Test results on the ingested food confirmed the presence of  tetrodotoxin, a powerful neurotoxin that can be fatal.

Pufferfish are poisonous fish that are on the banned list for marketing by a decree dated 24 Dec 2009. Accordingly, consumption of these fish should be avoided.

Puffer fish poisoning, or tetrodotoxication is an acute and potentially life threatening illness after eating puffer fish, or fugu. The mortality rate of this type of food poisoning is around 60%.

Tetrodotoxin is a heat-stable toxin that is concentrated in the liver, intestines and ovaries of the fish. According to the Ishikawa health service association, tetrodotoxin is nearly 100 times more poisonous than potassium cyanide.

Symptoms usually begin within an hour or so after ingesting the fish. Symptoms include lethargy, weakness, numbness of the face, lips and extremities, a floating sensation and emesis. These early symptoms are usually quickly followed by flacid paralysis and respiratory failure.

Patients that survive require respiratory support and fully recover within 48 hours.

Tetraodotoxin is also found in salamanders, newts and other types of animals.

Réunion is a French island with a population of about 800,000 located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about 200 kilometers southwest of Mauritius, the nearest island. Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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