Ciguatera poisoning is a type of food poisoning that comes from eating seafood contaminated with tiny, toxic sea organisms. Their toxin is odorless, tasteless, and heat stable, meaning it cannot be destroyed by cooking the seafood. Ciguatera poisoning symptoms usually appear within four to six hours after the seafood is eaten.

Most common types of sea life affected:

  • Barracuda
  • Grouper
  • Jacks
  • Parrot fish
  • Sea bass
  • Snapper
  • Tuna

Typical symptoms of ciguatera poisoning:

  • weakness
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • itchy rash
  • joint pain
  • dizziness
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • confusing cold and hot sensations

Treatment depends on severity of symptoms. If you think you may have ciguatera poisoning:

  • Drink liquids for hydration
  • Take an anti-allergy medicine (antihistamine) if an itchy rash develops

If other symptoms are present, call the Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for further treatment advice.