Man in hospital after suspected puffer fish poisoning

The Centre for Health Protection on Saturday said it was investigating a suspected poisoning case, after a 57-year-old man on Friday ate a puffer fish he had caught in local waters.

The centre said the man had developed numbness around his mouth about two hours after eating the fish at home. He went to Yan Chai Hospital Accident and Emergency in the early hours of Saturday, and was admitted for treatment. He is now in a stable condition.

The centre said organs – such as the liver, gonads and skin – of puffer fish have high concentrations of a marine toxin, which does not break down when cooked, boiled, dried or frozen.

The poison, known as Tetrodotoxin, can cause respiration and circulation problems and is potentially fatal. There is no known antidote or antitoxin.

The centre said the public should not buy, or prepare, puffer fish – or any type of unknown fish – for consumption.