NEWS

10 Hit by New Case of Fish Poisoning

Ten people became ill at Lovu Village on Gau Island after they ate dabea (Giant Moray Eel) in the latest case of suspected fish poisoning. Nine were treated at the
25 Jan 2017 13:08
10 Hit by New Case of Fish Poisoning
Tautisi Sovakatini and his wife, Oripa Soko, at Bayview Heights yesterday. Photo: Monica Aguilar

Ten people became ill at Lovu Village on Gau Island after they ate dabea (Giant Moray Eel) in the latest case of suspected fish poisoning.

Nine were treated at the Qarani Health Centre while the 10th was brought to the Levuka Hospital before being transferred to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva.

They were the third group. The first group was from Somosomo Village in Gau. In that incident four people died and nine fell sick after eating daniva (Gold Spot Herring).

It was followed by 14 Votua villagers in Ba who were rushed to the Ba Mission Hospital and admitted for suspected fish poisoning but were later released.

They had eaten ogo (Barracuda) which they allegedly bought from the Ba Fish Market.

In the third incident, Tautisi Sovakatini, one of the 10 victims said: “After I had eaten dabea, I went to my home. I felt unwell and had running stomach.”

The dabea was caught in the morning by his relatives, who were among those who suffered from the suspected fish poisoning.

He said they had dabea for lunch the following day.

His wife, Oripa Soko, 45, said Mr Sovakatini was the worst affected victim.

“He ate the head of the dabea but I cannot understand why the others did not get very sick like him,” she said.

According to Mr Sovakatini, all of them were immediately treated at the Qarani Health Centre and were given injections by the doctor and nurse.

He was admitted last Friday night at the emergency unit and was given injections for the pain. He was discharged last Saturday.

Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilavesau, was taken aback when the Fiji Sun informed him about the Lovu case last night.

He said he was not aware of this incident.

“I am quite surprised that after all these continuous poisoning incidents, people still do not take heed of the warning given by the Ministry of Fisheries.

“But I will contact our officials to send another reminder to all the people around Fiji, especially the maritime islands about the poisonous fish,” he said.

Mr Koroilavesau emphasised that dabea was always poisonous as well as the different types of fish outlined in the chart provided by the Ministry of Fisheries.

However, Ms Soko said: “Dabea is always eaten in the village, but you need to clean it properly before you eat. ”

In response to Ms Soko’s statement, Mr Koroilavesau said: “The advice is that this fish is poisonous and you should not attempt to eat it because there is no guarantee it will not be poisonous if cleaned properly.

“I am quite surprised that they have gone ahead and ate it.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  monica.aguilar@fijisun.com.fj



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