Chemical poisoning through seafood

One of the prime reasons for chemical poisoning is consuming damaged shell fish or bony fish.

Types of chemical poisoning caused by bony fish

Ciguatera poisoning

This kind of chemical poisoning takes place after consuming a fish that has its origins from some four hundred species of fish from the tropical reefs of the West Indies, Florida and the Pacific. The poison is generated through dinoflagellates, the microscopic organisms, which the fish consume and accumulates in their flesh. Older, large fish are much more toxic as compared to the younger, smaller ones. The taste of the fish remains unaffected. The present processing methods such as cooking does not destroy the poison. The initial signs include nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Diarrhea may start after the individual consumes the fish and lasts for about 5-13 hours. Later signs might include pins and needles sensation, itchiness, muscle aches, headache, facial pain or reversal feeling of cold and hot. There have been occasions where physicians have provided a cure for the affected individuals by administering intravenous mannitol (the drug, which decreases pressure and swelling), however it is not clear whether this gives any benefit. The World Health Organization does not recommend this method of treatment for fish poisoning.

Tetrodotxin poisoning

Signs caused due to toxin in a sushi delicacy or fugu most, are very much like those caused due to with ciguatera poisoning. This type of fish is found generally in the seas near Japan. Death might result from the paralysis of muscles, which regulate breathing. The poison cannot be destroyed through freezing or cooking.

Scombroid poisoning

After catching fish like tuna, mackerel, skipjack, blue dolphin and bonito, their tissues break down, further generating histamine on a great level. While ingested, histamine results in instant facial flushing. Also, it can cause vomiting, nausea, hives and stomach pain. Symptoms that are greatly mistaken for seafood allergy normally last not more than twenty four hours. The fish might taste bitter or peppery. Not like other fish toxic, this form of poisoning can be avoided through adequately preserving the fish when caught. Antihistamine drugs like ranitidine and diphenhydramine might help.

Chemical poisoning caused by shellfish

This kind of poisoning can take place, especially from June-October on New England and Pacific coasts. Shellfish like clams, mussels, scallops and oysters might ingest specific poisonous dinoflagellates at times when the sea water has a red cast shade known red tide. Dinoflagellates produce a toxin, which attacks nerves like neurotoxins. The saxitoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poison persists even after the food has been cooked. The foremost sign, pins and needles sensation near the mouth, starts 5-20 minutes after consuming. Vomiting, abdominal cramps and nausea develop next along with muscles weakness. Sometimes, the weakness of the muscle progresses to paralysis of the arms and legs.

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