Ciguatera fish poisoning occurs when people eat tropical reef fish contaminated with ciguatoxins. Ciguatoxins cannot be detected by sight, taste or smell and cannot be destroyed by cooking or freezing. People should avoid consuming large predatory reef fish (greater than 6 lbs) and known high-risk fish. Because certain anatomic parts of the fish tend to concentrate more toxin (i.e., head, gut, roe, and liver), the viscera and heads of reef fishes should not be consumed or used in fish soup.
There are no specific diagnostic tests for ciguatera fish poisoning in humans, and diagnosis is generally made based on symptoms and recent dietary history. Ciguatera has no cure, but symptoms usually go away in days or weeks. In some instances, symptoms can last for years. Please seek medical care if you suspect you have ciguatera fish poisoning.