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Teen Goes Into Coma After Eating Toxic Fish
CBS ^ | July 22, 2014

Posted on 07/23/2014 5:35:08 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Austin Goncalves, 15, is recovering after going into a coma.

He went into the coma after he got fish poisoning from a snapper in the Bahamas.

Austin is finally eating food for the first time in week. “I’m on anti-seizure medication,” he told WTSP.

Earlier this month, Austin caught a mutton snapper that his mom cooked for dinner.

“I couldn’t eat, couldn’t breath,” Austin told the station. “This was very serious,” his mom, Karen Goncalves added. “It could have ended our lives.” Austin, his friend, Karen, and her boyfriend were all suffering from Ciguatera, which is a potentially fatal illness from eating toxic fish.

The family never heard of this disease but Karen knew something was wrong and called an ambulance. “The kids were not responding,” she said. “They threw up all night and the next day and were pretty much unresponsive.” They were all rushed to a local hospital but Karen wanted to get back to the United States. She thought they could die if they stayed in the Bahamas and asked for help through Facebook.

“And I wanted to thank all of our friends and family who came together to make this possible for us to come home,” she said.

Medical bills have since added up and it cost $10,000 for each to be flown out of the Bahamas.

The Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub on Longboat Key had a fundraiser to help Austin.

The Blue Marlin Grill will also have a fundraiser.

If you are interested in donating to help Austin, you can contribute via their fundraising website.


TOPICS: Food; Health/Medicine; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: bahamas; fish; florida; poison

1 posted on 07/23/2014 5:35:09 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Travel health insurance is a good thing


2 posted on 07/23/2014 5:37:54 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: nickcarraway

I had Red Snapper for dinner 2 nights ago. What kind of snapper did these kids eat?


3 posted on 07/23/2014 5:40:45 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: driftdiver

Some helicopter med services, such as Care Flight in DFW offer yearly memberships, which will also cover flights back home in case of a medical emergency. Check your area.


4 posted on 07/23/2014 5:41:32 PM PDT by rstrahan
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To: Ditter

The article says it was mutton snapper.


5 posted on 07/23/2014 5:47:41 PM PDT by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (Why does every totalitarian political hack think that he knows how to run my life better than I do?)
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To: nickcarraway

I usually don’t eat red snapper because it is pretty expensive but I have never even heard of there being a problem with it being toxic.


6 posted on 07/23/2014 5:47:42 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: Ditter

Ciguatera is a foodborne illness caused by eating certain reef fish whose flesh is contaminated with toxins originally produced by dinoflagellates such as Gambierdiscus toxicus which live in tropical and subtropical waters. These dinoflagellates adhere to coral, algae and seaweed, where they are eaten by herbivorous fish who in turn are eaten by larger carnivorous fish. In this way the toxins move up the food chain and biomagnify.
According to Dr. McBoomlis, Gambierdiscus toxicus is the primary dinoflagellate responsible for the production of a number of similar toxins that cause ciguatera. These toxins include ciguatoxin, maitotoxin, scaritoxin and palytoxin. Predator species near the top of the food chain in tropical and subtropical waters, such as barracudas, snapper, moray eels, parrotfishes, groupers, triggerfishes and amberjacks, are most likely to cause ciguatera poisoning, although many other species cause occasional outbreaks of toxicity.


7 posted on 07/23/2014 5:48:27 PM PDT by VAFreedom (maybe i should take a nap before work)
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To: Ditter

Mr. Mercat and I lived for two months in Yucatan, catching and eating the native fish. We ate lots of snapper and one barracuda. We also ate parrot fish. The thing about the top predators is that any poison in the prey fish end up being concentrated in the top predator. So the parrot fish eat the coral which is toxic. The barracuda and the snapper eat the parrot fish. We didn’t get sick but we did talk about it since one of the men we were camping with had been a professional fisherman. He ate the barracuda raw however so we felt we could eat it cooked.


8 posted on 07/23/2014 5:51:14 PM PDT by Mercat
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To: nickcarraway

Mutton snapper are edible, but these unlucky folks were poisoned by ciguatera which can happen with tropical fish. It’s caused by toxic plankton, I believe.


9 posted on 07/23/2014 5:53:10 PM PDT by grimalkin (We are a nation under God. If we ever forget this, we are a nation gone under. -Ronald Reagan)
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To: nickcarraway

When I was in college in the mid 60s there was a seafood restaurant right across the street from where I lived. This was in Pensacola.

About once a month I would treat myself to a mullet platter which was cheap and flat out delicious. I wish I could still get them.


10 posted on 07/23/2014 5:56:39 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: nickcarraway; Ditter
Ciquartera is not specific to the snapper “Snappers are a reef fish so the possibility of ciguatera poisoning exists. Ciguatera is an area specific toxin not species specific. It is caused by the reef fish eating the flesh of a toxic fish that inhabits tropical waters. The incidence of poisoning are low but care should be taken not to purchase fish landed in known hot spots.
11 posted on 07/23/2014 6:01:05 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: VAFreedom
Only eat small reef fish that have not lived long enough to accumulate toxic levels of the dinoflagellate. For example, barracuda eat smaller fish that have consumed the dinoflagellate in the reef environment. By means of bio-magnification, a large barracuda (> ~1 m) contains a large amount of the Gambierdiscus toxicus toxin.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The neurological manifestations of giguatera are beyond weird.

12 posted on 07/23/2014 6:07:27 PM PDT by gasport (President Omoeba needs to evolve a spine)
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To: gasport

I think next time I’ll just order the chicken, thank you very much.


13 posted on 07/23/2014 6:09:43 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Ditter


14 posted on 07/23/2014 6:17:27 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Mercat
When I was on Kwajalein last year, one of the rules was - if you catch any reef fish, consult a Marshallese local before eating. The locals know which can be eaten and which should not.

Of couse, best is catch, photo and release.

15 posted on 07/23/2014 6:19:51 PM PDT by par4
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To: dfwgator
I think next time I’ll just order the chicken, thank you very much.

If not cooked properly, you might meet Sal Monella.

16 posted on 07/23/2014 6:21:43 PM PDT by gasport (President Omoeba needs to evolve a spine)
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To: gasport

Excellent review article-

http://www.ncf-net.org/library/Pearn-NeuroOCiguatera.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ciguatera is a classic board question.


17 posted on 07/23/2014 6:27:11 PM PDT by gasport (President Omoeba needs to evolve a spine)
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To: nickcarraway

What? They don’t get unlimited free health care down there? How racist.


18 posted on 07/23/2014 6:27:25 PM PDT by Clay Moore ("911 is for when the backhoe won't start." JRandomFreeper)
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To: dfwgator

I hope Halibut is safe to eat =)


19 posted on 07/23/2014 6:32:49 PM PDT by Patriot Babe
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To: gasport

from the article-

“Rather, cold or even room temperature objects, when touched, produce a disagreeable burning sensation; and warm objects produce a sensation described variously by victims in such terms as “ice burning cold”, “chilled”, or “cold-sharp”. Warm fluids are particularly distressing and showering or bathing may be too painful to endure by some severely poisoned victims.”


20 posted on 07/23/2014 6:33:57 PM PDT by gasport (President Omoeba needs to evolve a spine)
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To: gasport

My new fact for the day-

Old, large conch can also transmit the condition.


21 posted on 07/23/2014 6:45:06 PM PDT by gasport (President Omoeba needs to evolve a spine)
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To: yarddog
I go to Pensacola often. Remember the name of the place or the location? I'll have a seafood dinner next time we are down there and salute you.

Capt. Anderson's is very popular. The food is good but a little pricey. There is a place next to it where the sight seeing, fishing etc. boats go out which is a little cheaper but not much.

vaudine

22 posted on 07/23/2014 7:03:33 PM PDT by vaudine
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To: gasport

“If it’s longer than your arm, it will do you harm.”


23 posted on 07/23/2014 7:15:32 PM PDT by sima_yi ( Reporting live from the far North)
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To: vaudine

The Restaurant if it is still there was Phillip’s Seafood Restaurant. It was located on the South of Highway 90 maybe a mile West of the University entrance on 90.

If it is still there, order the mullet platter. They only have it when the mullet is fresh and it is delicious.


24 posted on 07/23/2014 7:18:45 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: vaudine

It is in no way comparable to Capt. Andersons but if all you want is good mullet at a good price it is just fine. In fact it is better than fine, it is a delicious meal at a low price.


25 posted on 07/23/2014 7:22:00 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: Ditter

Mutton honey.


26 posted on 07/23/2014 7:24:51 PM PDT by Fightin Whitey
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To: Mercat

We have made quite a few trips to Cozumel to fish. Ate a lot of them, never knew about this problem.


27 posted on 07/23/2014 7:29:12 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: CynicalBear

Thanks for the information.


28 posted on 07/23/2014 7:30:14 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: nickcarraway

Ah, so! We just had sushi last night, and so far, so good..........


29 posted on 07/23/2014 7:31:09 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: Fightin Whitey

Anything with ‘mutton’ in it sounds dicey.


30 posted on 07/23/2014 8:06:09 PM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: all armed conservatives)
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To: VAFreedom

Paly toxin is no joke. A number of fellow reef keepers lost pets to this stuff. Certain types of coral like palythoa use this toxin as a defense. When fragging corals like palythoa, a lot of care needs to be taken. A friends dog got into the frag bucket and was dead in hours. I’ve even heard of people getting exposed by not knowing or not taking precautions. Who would know such amazing and beautiful corals like zoanthids and palythoa could be so deadly.


31 posted on 07/23/2014 8:09:16 PM PDT by drunknsage
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To: nickcarraway
If you catch an 800-pound snapper....he is likely to be old enough to have eaten some dinoflagellates at some point in his life.

I would NEVER eat an 800-pound snapper and fortunately, I have never caught one that big....but I keep trying.

32 posted on 07/23/2014 8:43:51 PM PDT by capt. norm
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To: vaudine
Capt. Anderson's is very popular.

Capt. Anderson's is here in Panama City

The founder, the lats Max Anderson was a good friend.

The restaurant is currently owned by the Patronis brothers and is located right at the Grand Lagoon/Treausre Island Marina where you can see the fresh seafood coming in.

It is a highly rated restaurabt and has earned many awards.

33 posted on 07/23/2014 8:57:53 PM PDT by capt. norm
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To: gasport

Don’t eat the fish toe mein


34 posted on 07/23/2014 9:07:06 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("The Arab Spring is over. Welcome to the Jihadi Spring." Jonah Goldberg)
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To: drunknsage
Who would know such amazing and beautiful corals like zoanthids and palythoa could be so deadly.

Some of the prettiest stuff in nature is the most deadly...

35 posted on 07/23/2014 9:18:05 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: nickcarraway

Darwin award candidate.


36 posted on 07/24/2014 2:25:14 AM PDT by Jeff Gordon (Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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