'Don't eat puffer fish' warning to public in Hong Kong

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Health officials in Hong Kong are warning the public not to eat puffer fish after the third case of poisoning this month.

A 60-year old woman suffered weakness in her lower limbs and dizziness following a meal containing puffer fish on Boxing Day.

Earlier this month a 32-year-old man was poisoned, followed by a 22-year-old woman last week.

The tetradotoxin found in puffers can be up to 1200 times more poisonous than cyanide.

Symptoms of tetradotoxin poisoning can occur anything from 15 minutes to several hours later and include numbness, nausea, vomiting, extreme stomach pains and sometimes paralysis and death. There is no known antidote.

The toxin is not broken down by cooking and Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health says that the best way to prevent puffer fish poisoning is not to eat them in the first place.

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