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Suspected puffer fish poisoning case under CHP investigation
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (August 21) investigating a suspected case of puffer fish poisoning affecting a man aged 67 and hence reminds members of the public not to consume puffer fish. 

     The patient developed dizziness, paraesthesia, peri-oral and finger numbness, nausea and vomiting about three hours after consuming a dried puffer fish for dinner at home on August 19. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of the United Christian Hospital on August 20 and no hospitalisation was required. He is currently in stable condition.

     Initial enquires by the CHP revealed that the dried puffer fish was bought from a temporary stall in Ngau Tau Kok.

     The CHP has also alerted the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department of the incident and the investigations 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.
Ends/Sunday, August 21, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:29
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