Author: Jeannie G3 (---.asm.bellsouth.net)
Date: 03-10-09 14:49
Hola! Not too long ago, there was a discussion here on this website about ciguatera. Check out what we talked about:
Ciguatera is a type of food poisoning caused by a toxin, ciguatoxin. If a fish is contaminated with it, it's not only going to give you the usual stomach and intestinal problems associated with food poisoning but, it can also affect your muscle and nervous system resulting in a type of ataxia. Ataxia problems will look as if you have muscular dystrophy or other type of neurological problems associated with your limbs. This means you will have vision problems, difficulty walking and with your arms. If it is diagnosed in a timely matter, you can re cooperate quickly. If not, since there is really no specific treatment for it, you're in for a long road of care. People have died from it and there was one case on the island, Katiria Faria, daughter of famous Puertorrican vedette, Iris Chacon, that obtained great publicity. Her case was complicated and it took a long time to diagnose resulting in a long treatment of medicine and physical therapy. It affected her legs and was wheelchair bound for some time. She is well now.
My advice: "Stay away from big fish, talk to the locals and especially the local fishermen. Forget about the language barrier, I'm sure they are more than willing to share their knowledge and advice. If it smells fishy, stay away. If the eyes are not clear, the fish is old, don't buy it. Learn when fishermen are coming back with catch and buy it from them. I'm sure the restaurants in Culebra buy fresh. If you feel sick, go to the doctor or ER"
Happy travels! J