Thanks for introducing a professional's interest in the problem.
I'll add to Ann's post... we ate the same fish at the same times!
First case, a portion of a large Spanish Mackerel, caught outside the reefs
south of Il de Pins, New Caledonia
: for me, it was general and somewhat severe general malaise, some itching, and eventually the canonical reversal of hot and cold. The latter was what finally clued us in as to what was wrong. The symptoms persisted for a week or so, gradually subsiding. It was some years ago, so my memories of exact sequence are suspect.
Second case, a few years later, was a large Giant Trevally, caught in the northern lagoon
of New Cal
, an area reputed to be cigua-free. We had one of the Cigua test kits then marketed, and used it with a 'safe' response. The kit was a few days past it's expiry date, and apparently was no longer valid. My symptoms were much the same as the first time, but with less of the hot/cold reversal and more itching. They subsided within a few days. BTW, had we not had the test kit, we would have never eaten any such fish.
Third case, about 5 years later, was from a very small, young Spotted Mackerel, caught in the Belep group, far north lagoon
area in New Cal
. Local knowledge said that these small fish (~80 cm long) were yearlings, coming into the lagoon for their first mating season, and that they were always OK. We asked the local women if they wanted a portion (heh, put your money
where your mouth is!) and they were happy to have it. Lesson learned: the locals don't know it all, either! This time the symptoms were more in the GI tract for me, but with the typical itching and malaise. Again, within a week we both felt ok again.
In all three cases, we ate only one meal from the fish.
As far as I can tell, I have no chronic long term symptoms, but we are damn selective about what fin-fish we eat. We do not fish in new Cal waters at all, and even pull in our (generally ineffective) lines well before we make landfall after ocean passages. However, one of our closest friends was stricken in Vanuatu
over twenty years ago. He damn near died... a singlehander, he sought aid at the Vila hospital, from visiting GPs
and even from the local "witchdoctor" Nivan. He was comatose on his boat much of the time for a couple of weeks, with other yotties taking turns looking after him... "go see if Jules is dead yet" duty. He had persistent and severe ongoing symptoms for some years, with alcohol causing them to reappear, any sort of seafood doing likewise, extreme sensitivity of his skin to touch, especially if it was hot IIRC. Found it very uncomfortable to wear even a light cotton shirt. He is an infrequent participant in this forum, and I could try to put you into contact with him if it iwas of sufficient interest to you.
If your research
is at all productive, I would sure be interested in your conclusions, either through this thread or by PM.