by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
Following the dead of four locals from Somosomo village on Gau Island, Fiji, with others confirmed to suffer from fish poisoning, Fiji’s Ministry of Fisheries has confirmed in a statement that Ciguatera fish poisoning was the cause of the deaths.
According to International Association for Medical Assistance for Travelers, Ciguatera fish poisoning is a common seafood illness caused by eating contaminated fish with ciguatoxins produced by dinoflagellates, small marine organisms living on or near coral reefs belonging to the species Gambierdiscus toxicus.
Ciguatera fish poisoning is believed to occur commonly in the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
With changing climate changes resulting in seasonal patterns changing, the fish eaten by the locals was a contaminated one which led to four deaths and others poisoned.
The International Association for Medical Assistance for Travellers confirms Ciguatera fish poisoning is dangerous and there is no preventative medication or vaccine against the illness.
The only prevention is to avoid eating larger fish, fillets and reef fish weighing more than 2 kg, and to avoid eating the liver, intestines, heads and roe of the smaller fish.
Now with confirmation on the cause of the deaths, locals have been alerted to be careful when consuming fish as Ciguatera fish poisoning is dangerous and can result in more deaths if precautions are not taken.