A taste for a deadly fish in Ghana has left 26 in a hospital

In addition, about 14 people complained of stomach upset after consuming the fish that is said to be poisonous.

In all, the Assembly said in statement, 26 people were hospitalised after easting pufferfish.

"This fish is well known by the locals and the danger it poses when not handled properly before consumption. But they continue to catch and sell it to the public," the Kpando Municipal Public Health Emergency Committee said.

"To prevent this further deaths the Committee has decided to temporarily ban the sale of the puffer fish in any form either fresh, smoked or salted until further notice.“Anybody caught selling the fish to the public will be dealt with accordingly”, the statement cautioned.

More about pufferfish?

The pufferfish is the second most poisonous vertebrate on the planet. Its poison has no antidote and kills by paralyzing the diaphragm, causing suffocation.

Almost all puffer fish contain tetrodotoxin, a substance that makes them taste bad (and sometimes lethal) to fish.

According to National Geographic, tetrodotoxin is deadly, up to 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide. One puffer fish has enough toxin to kill 30 adults.

Tetrodotoxin does not cross the blood-brain barrier, so the victims remain fully conscious while their central nervous system gradually shuts down. Symptoms such as numbness in the mouth, lips, and tongue occur within 30 minutes to three hours from an intake and after that, the victim begins to experience headaches, nausea and even vomiting. The rest of the body slowly becomes paralysed, causing death when the heart and lung muscles are also paralysed.


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