Go to main content
Suspected puffer fish poisoning case under CHP investigation
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 24) investigating a suspected puffer fish poisoning case, and hence reminded members of the public not to consume puffer fish.

     The case involves a 65-year-old man, who developed facial numbness, generalised weakness and respiratory failure about two hours after consuming cooked puffer fish, caught by himself in local waters, for lunch at home yesterday (April 23).

     He attended the accident and emergency department of Prince of Wales Hospital (PWH) on the same day and was subsequently admitted to the intensive care unit of PWH for further management. He is now in a critical condition.

     Investigations by the CHP are continuing.

     A spokesman for the CHP said 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. Members of the public are advised to avoid purchasing and preparing puffer fish or unknown fish for consumption to prevent tetrodotoxin-related food poisoning," the spokesman said.
Ends/Friday, April 24, 2020
Issued at HKT 17:21
Today's Press Releases