Here is a brief post on ciguaterra describing the effects on several people who got very bad cases. Most interesting is the fact that a saline drip rapidly alleviated the symptoms.https://www.ryanmoodyfishing.com/how...era-poisoning/
Below are a couple of interesting snips from the above link (out of order):
Antihistamines had no effect and Ryan was told to just wait. After two weeks lying in bed
almost paralysed the family
did some research
and found an article about a Fijian who was so badly affected with ciguatera they flew him to Brisbane
. During the journey they gave him a saline drip and he almost instantly recovered and was able to walk off the plane.
After reading this Ryan went straight to a doctor and requested a saline drip, after only half an hour he could feel a noticeable improvement and was able to leave unassisted. The symptoms returned about eight hours later but were less intense.
Ryan has since learned that ciguatera does not allow fluids you drink to pass through the kidneys, so urination doesn’t occur. However as the saline drip is fed straight into the bloodstream it can flush the toxin. Let’s just say that after the saline drip, Ryan had a prolonged bathroom break!
The ciguatera toxin
Ciguatera is a toxin, with symptoms known to commence anywhere from an hour to 24 hours after consumption
. The symptoms range from stomach cramps and diarrhoea to difficulty breathing. Courtesy of the Queensland Health
Department, a full list of the symptoms is:
• Tingling and numbness in fingers, toes, around lips, tongue, mouth and throat
• A burning sensation or skin pain on contact with cold water
• Joint and muscle pains with muscular weakness
• nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and/or abdominal cramps
• headache, fatigue and fainting
• extreme itchiness, often worsened by drinking alcohol
• difficulty breathing in severe cases
Although not listed by Queensland
Health in the documents I found, several other sources also list temporary blindness and in extreme cases cardiac failure (death).
Fish carriers of ciguatera
What fish are known carriers? Well the highest risk fish are now in Queensland’s no-take species, red bass, paddletail and chinaman.
The carriers that are still able to be taken are Spanish mackerel, red emperor (yep that one shocked me too), coral
cod, coral trout, trevally, yellowtail kingfish and some lesser known species like wrasse and surgeonfish (which are both known algae eaters). When snorkelling or SCUBA diving
you can often hear various wrasse and surgeon fish chewing into coral, they are eating the algae from the coral.
Moray eels are apparently carriers of the most concentrated levels of the toxin.
Depending on what articles and fact sheets
you read, you shouldn’t eat Spanish mackerel (for example) over 12kg, 14kg, or 20kg. In one recent instance one angler claimed to have ciguatera symptoms after eating an 8kg Spanish mackerel! One thing you can be sure of is that the larger the Spanish mackerel, the more risk that they have high levels of the toxin as it accumulates in the body - so larger fish end up with more.
According to some researchers, the amount of toxin in the gonads, roe and liver can be up to 50 times greater than an equivalent amount of muscle.