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Climate Change Linked to an Increase in Ciguatera Poisoning

Posted on in Food poisoning attorney
Climate Change Linked to an Increase in Ciguatera Poisoning

Scientists and politicians still can not agree about whether climate change is happening because of human activities. As that debate rages on, we can agree on some concrete facts. One of these is the increase in reported cases of ciguatera poisoning, a type of food poisoning that is associated with the consumption of certain types of fish, such as barracuda.

Although food poisoning is often thought of as a minor affliction that resolves itself in due time, it can have serious complications that require significant medical intervention. In cases like this, victims can seek compensation for their losses through personal injury claims.

Symptoms of Ciguatera Poisoning

Symptoms of ciguatera poisoning include the following:

  • Slowed heart rate;
  • Hypotension;
  • Nausea;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Joint pain;
  • Feeling of loose teeth;
  • Metallic taste in the mouth;
  • Stomach pain;
  • Numbness in the fingers and toes;
  • Dizziness;
  • Reversed sense of hot and cold;
  • Difficulty walking; and
  • Weakness.

Ciguatoxins cannot be cooked or frozen out of a fish. They do not have a distinct appearance or smell, which makes them impossible to detect prior to experiencing the symptoms of ciguatera poisoning.

Currently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is working to track the dangerous algal blooms to better avoid future cases of ciguatera poisoning. However, this particular strain is proving to be more difficult to track than previous toxic algal blooms because it cannot be seen from the water's surface or detected from space using chlorophyll like others, such as the red tide algal bloom.

How You Can Avoid Ciguatera Poisoning

Ciguatera poisoning comes from consuming fish that are contaminated with Gambierdiscus toxicus, a ciguatoxin found in a type of microalgae. These fish are generally predatory tropical reef fish that prey on the herbivorous fish that eat the microalgae, such as barracuda, grouper, eel, snapper, amberjack, and sea bass.

The easiest way to avoid ciguatera is to avoid eating these species of fish, especially after a recall or outbreak has been announced. If you or a loved one have consumed one of these types of fish and begin to experience any of the symptoms listed above, seek medical attention. Although a doctor cannot treat the illness, he or she can treat its symptoms and provide a diagnosis that you can then use to support your food poisoning claim. Usually, the symptoms subside within a few weeks, but there have been cases where individuals have lived with them for years.

Food Poisoning Attorneys in Illinois

If you or somebody you know have been affected by ciguatera or any other type of food poisoning and suffered significant financial losses because of the illness, consider seeking monetary compensation for these losses through a personal injury claim. Work with our team of experienced Illinois food poisoning attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP to determine whether you have a case and if so, the best way to pursue your case.

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