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Ciguatera fish poisoning is the most commonly reported
seafood-toxin in the world. The
gastrointestinal, neurologic and cardiovascular symptoms which last from days
to months can also be fatal in rare instances.
Ciguatera fish poisoning is acquired from the consumption of carnivorous
reef fish that have bio-accumulated toxic macro-algae from the consumption of
herbivorous fish in tropical and subtropical climates. In the summer of 2013,
two separate families became ill from Ciguatera fish poisoning after eating the
same King Barracuda. Inspection of food premises and trace-back methods were
used to determine the source of the fish. Peel Health was able to attain
laboratory confirmation of ciguatoxin in the fish consumed and interview ill
individuals experiencing similar signs and symptoms which is the current gold
standard method for diagnosis.
Temperature related dysesthesia is one of the distinct symptoms of
Ciguatera fish poisoning. Symptom
recurrence and sensitization are also a concern. This presentation examines the
human health aspects of Ciguatera, as well as diagnosis, prevention and
treatment through the cases in Peel Region.
Educational objectives for the
Gain knowledge about Ciguatoxin
sources and exposure pathways
Identify and confirm cases of ciguatera poisoning that may appear in the community
Understand available methods of Ciguatoxin detection in fish
Recognize role of public health in education and prevention
Paresh Gandhi has been a Public Health Inspector in the
Environmental Health Division at the Region of Peel Public Health Department
since 2008. He earned his Bachelor of
Applied Science with honours in Occupational and Public Health from Ryerson in
2007. Prior to that, Paresh worked as an
environmental coordinator for Trim Trends Canada Inc. where he was instrumental
in helping them achieve their ISO 14001 certification. Paresh has extensive knowledge of
environmental and quality systems having earned the designation of
Environmental Lead Auditor and Quality Auditor in ISO 14001 and ISO/TS 16949
systems. Paresh also has a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science from the
University of Guelph and a post-graduate certificate in Environmental
Engineering Applications from Conestoga College.
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