NEWS

17 Hospitalised from Fish Poisoning

A total of 17 villagers from Mali Island, off the coast of Labasa were rushed to the Labasa Hospital on Sunday afternoon from fish poisoning. The villagers from Ligaulevu Village
30 May 2017 09:07
17 Hospitalised from Fish Poisoning
Rapoama Moce (right) with Andy Tuimanasa, a relative at Vunivau in Labasa. Photo: Josaia Ralago

A total of 17 villagers from Mali Island, off the coast of Labasa were rushed to the Labasa Hospital on Sunday afternoon from fish poisoning.

The villagers from Ligaulevu Village were transported in a fibreglass boat from the island to Labasa Hospital after their Sunday lunch.

One of the villagers affected, Rapoama Moce said they had gone fishing on Saturday and had caught a dabea (giant morel eel) which was cooked in lolo for their Sunday lunch.

“We all had lunch at the village hall after our ‘lotu ni yavusa’ (tribal church service). The lot of us who had eaten the dabea suffered from this poisoning,” Mr Moce said.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services said in a statement yesterday the signs from the patients were signs symptomatic with fish poisoning.

“There were classical signs of fish poisoning like numbness of hands and feet and some had vomiting and diarrhoea resulting in mild dehydration,” the statement said.

“The team had Labasa Hospital responded promptly to attend to all of them, they had to be hydrated and given medication.”

Mr Moce said the villagers who had eaten the eel felt weak after going home.

“I started to feel like pins and needles were poking at my skin.  But I decided to brush it off for a moment,” he said.It was not until one of the women in the hall complained that she could not feel her lips and that her tongue went hot after she ate the dabea in lolo.

“It was then that they knew she was feeling the effects of fish poisoning. They rounded everyone up who had consumed dabea during lunch and we were then rushed to Labasa,” Mr Moce said.

“By the time we got on the boat, everybody who was affected looked weak and one fainted as soon as we got to Labasa.”

Mr Moce said this was not the first time that they had been poisoned from eating moray eel.

The Ministry of Health statement said: “All the patients were sent home after receiving the medical care and all of them have been advised to report back if encountered with any complications.”

Mr Moce and two others are still in Labasa while the rest have returned to Mali Island on Monday.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback: josaia.ralago@fijisun.com.fj

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