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Old 03-01-2017, 07:10 AM   #1
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Poisoned by a LionFish

Just got an email from my SIL. She and her husband were in Anguilla for a couple of weeks, just got home on the weekend.
The only thing she said is that he has been poisoned by a Lionfish and can't get into see a doc at the infectious disease hospital for a couple of weeks. Wha!
All he does is sleep and his hands and feet are itchy.

How long does this last!?!?!?

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Old 03-01-2017, 07:21 AM   #2
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Was he envenomated from contact with a live one or poisoned from eating it?
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:28 AM   #3
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So he's been poisoned but they say don't worry about it a Dr will be with you in a couple weeks? What kind of place is this?
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:28 AM   #4
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And why would he have to go to an "infectious disease hospital," since it is certainly not an infection? A primary care physician should be able to at least start him on some treatment and make an appropriate referral if necessary.
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:45 AM   #5
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From what I've read, lionfish are venomous, not poisonous; they have toxic (not the same as deadly) venom in their spines. As medtran said, it has nothing to do with infection.

How long the effects last depends on how much venom he was exposed to. As long as he didn't have an allergic reaction to the venom, he should be fine.
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:47 AM   #6
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Don't have an answer for any of you. That's all she said in her email.

But... he eats fish for breakfast lunch and dinner and when they're away he usually goes down the the docks early mornings to talk to the local fishermen and see what they have brought in. Don't think he swims but doesn't mean he couldn't have touched one on their boats.

I think the hospital covers any unusual ills coming from other than here. Welcome to Quebec where a visit to the ER usually entails a 10 hour wait. Then they send you home and you have a 3 week to 3 month wait to see a specialist.
I once tried to get an appointment with a dermatologist - 2 year waiting list!

He has been to his own doc a couple of times - but again, she didn't say what the results were other than "she took blood, urine and stool samples"
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:28 AM   #7
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He isn't allergic to the Lionfish as evidently he had had one the week before. So... after octopus, lobster, grouper, conch and snapper he got 3 more Lionfish to fry up and bring home and that's when he got pricked.

He's a fairly healthy guy so I'm not too worried about him 'cause if his health had already been compromised I should think it would be a lot worse.

She is keeping a close eye on him for other symptoms that could be fatal.
I'm guessing that as it has been several days and no other synptoms have shown up he should be just fine.

Wonder if this will put him off Lionfish for breakfast now.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:32 AM   #8
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From what I've read, lionfish are venomous, not poisonous; they have toxic (not the same as deadly) venom in their spines. As medtran said, it has nothing to do with infection.

How long the effects last depends on how much venom he was exposed to. As long as he didn't have an allergic reaction to the venom, he should be fine.
They are venemous, but they are also know to carry ciguatera, as are many other fish in the carribean. I think he'd know if he got stung because stings are apparently quite painful, on par with jellyfish from what I understand, if not worse.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:44 AM   #9
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They are venemous, but they are also know to carry ciguatera, as are many other fish in the carribean. I think he'd know if he got stung because stings are apparently quite painful, on par with jellyfish from what I understand, if not worse.
They can, but as of 2014, there had never been a case of ciguatera traced to lionfish: https://m.phys.org/news/2014-08-inva...fish-safe.html

I agree he would know. I think it's a matter of terminology. Till dragnlaw responded saying he had been pricked by it, we didn't know how he had been exposed.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:45 AM   #10
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Okay, I was working on posting while Dragon posted that he got pricked.

BTW, just because you weren't allergic to something last time you ate it, doesn't mean you won't be the next time you eat it/touch it. I used to be able to have soy sauce, not so much any more. I used to be able to carve a pumpkin, not so much anymore unless I want to spend the next week itching like heck. I used to be able to eat fresh pineapple, now, not more than a couple of bites or I suffer the consequences. I used to be able to eat mango or things with mango in them, now even a tiny amount will cause my lips, tongue and mouth to start tingling.

But, you are right, if nothing more serious has popped up he should be okay. I got bit by some kind of spider once as a kid, doc thought it was a black widow from my symptoms and appearance of the bite. Fortunately, I didn't have a severe reaction, but was sick as a dog for a few days, totally miserable. I think it took a little over a week to feel back to normal.
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:11 AM   #11
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Poisoned by a LionFish

As a frequent visitor to Mexico, as well as a frequent consumer of lion fish while there, I've heard of no poisoning from eating it. The most likely issue would be getting stung by the spines.

Ciguatera has been found in large baraccuda and grouper.
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:39 AM   #12
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As a frequent visitor to Mexico, as well as a frequent consumer of lion fish while there, I've heard of no poisoning from eating it. The most likely issue would be getting stung by the spines.

Ciguatera has been found in large baraccuda and grouper.
Ciguatera, can be found in any predatory reef fish in tropical waters. The larger the fish, the more time it has had to build up the toxin. I never eat barracuda and never target grouper over twenty pounds. Open ocean and cold water species are generally free from the toxin. Fish that feed on reef fish can have the toxin.
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:09 AM   #13
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Ciguatera, can be found in any predatory reef fish in tropical waters. The larger the fish, the more time it has had to build up the toxin. I never eat barracuda and never target grouper over twenty pounds. Open ocean and cold water species are generally free from the toxin. Fish that feed on reef fish can have the toxin.

Exactly. I won't eat barracuda and rarely eat grouper.

The bigger lion fish are found in much deeper water in the Caribbean, and are speared by professional divers. Often the venomous spines are removed on the boat, though they also deliver intact lion fish to restaurants.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:35 PM   #14
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So he's been poisoned but they say don't worry about it a Dr will be with you in a couple weeks? What kind of place is this?
I'm glad she answered the question I was thinking Jon.

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Originally Posted by dragnlaw View Post
Welcome to Quebec where a visit to the ER usually entails a 10 hour wait. Then they send you home and you have a 3 week to 3 month wait to see a specialist.
I once tried to get an appointment with a dermatologist - 2 year waiting list!
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:22 PM   #15
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Was he envenomated from contact with a live one or poisoned from eating it?
You can only be poisoned with the venom by being stabbed with the spines - and they retain their toxicity after death. A common way to clean lionfish is to first clip the tips off the spines with something like wire cutters. The flesh is wonderful to eat, and the clipped spines are often served as a decorative (but inedible) garnish.
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:56 PM   #16
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You can only be poisoned with the venom by being stabbed with the spines - and they retain their toxicity after death. A common way to clean lionfish is to first clip the tips off the spines with something like wire cutters. The flesh is wonderful to eat, and the clipped spines are often served as a decorative (but inedible) garnish.
Poison and venom are two different things. So before you try your inaccurate correction, you might want to make sure your facts are right!
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Old 03-03-2017, 06:29 PM   #17
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I'm just guessing here, but whether it is venom or poison, it probably ruins your day.

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Old 03-03-2017, 06:32 PM   #18
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I'll start eating venomous or otherwise poisonous animals when all the ordinary kind go extinct.

Is lionfish that tasty that it's worth the risk?

I've heard of people keeping them in aquariums, and the necessary precautions when cleaning the tank etc.
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:16 PM   #19
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Is lionfish that tasty that it's worth the risk?
What risk? They're perfectly safe to eat. You can buy lionfish at Trader Joe's in the freezer section. I guarantee if there were a risk, TJ sure wouldn't be selling it.
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:39 PM   #20
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Oh yeah. They're that tasty. And unless you spear and despine your own, there is absolutely no risk.

Good to know that TJ's carries them. I've been jonesin' for lion fish.
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