18 down after eating barracuda

Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - September 17, 2014 - 2:24pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - At least 18 construction workers were downed on Tuesday from suspected food poisoning after they feasted on a barracuda fish in a west coast village in Zamboanga City, police and medical authorities said.

The police said the victims were rushed at the Labuan District Hospital for treatment after complaining of severe stomach pains.

Dr. Eunice Zapasap, the attending physician of Labuan District Hospital, told newsmen that the victims suffered gastroenteritis and were observed vomiting, experiencing short breathing and dizziness.

However, the attending physician could not ascertain if the case was suspected to be food poisoning pending laboratory result. 

Police investigation disclosed that the victims, all construction workers of a warehouse inside the Zamboanga Economic and Free Port Zone Authority in Sitio San Ramon, Barangay Talisayan, bought a large barracuda fish for their meal.

Gilbert delos Santos and a certain Melvin, who were among the victims, told authorities they also had the fish innards and its head cooked. 

“Later in the afternoon we experienced stomach pain and dizziness,” the two claimed.

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Regional Director Ahadulla Sajili said large barracuda fishes are known to be carriers of certain toxins which when eaten can cause poisoning.

He said there has been a warning about the consumption of barracuda fish.

City Health Officer Dr. Rodelyn Agbulos said he has also directed the investigation of the water supply in the area after a village in Limpapa also reported a case of water contamination the other Saturday. 

BARANGAY TALISAYAN BARRACUDA BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES REGIONAL DIRECTOR AHADULLA SAJILI DR. EUNICE ZAPASAP DR. RODELYN AGBULOS LABUAN DISTRICT HOSPITAL LIMPAPA MELVIN SITIO SAN RAMON ZAMBOANGA CITY ZAMBOANGA ECONOMIC AND FREE PORT ZONE AUTHORITY
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