Ciguatera fish poisoning suspected in Madagascar

At least 12 people have died and over 100 have received treatment for suspected ciguatera fish poisoning in the district of Fénérive-Est. All of the cases consumed shark meat.

The fish that are most likely to cause ciguatera poisoning and should be avoided are large (greater than 6 pounds), carnivorous reef fish, such as amberjack, barracuda, grouper, moray eel, sea bass, or sturgeon. Other fish that pose a risk include parrot fish, surgeon fish, and red snapper. The toxins that cause ciguatera fish poisoning are not destroyed when the fish is cooked, smoked, frozen, or through any other method of food preparation. The toxins are also concentrated in certain parts of the fish, namely the liver, intestinal tract, roe, and head. These parts of the fish should be avoided if you must eat high-risk fish.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning.

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