Ismailia Governorate Health Authority launched a health education campaign to educate citizens about the dangers of poisonous rabbit (rodents) fish, led by Dr. Saeed Al-Saqaan, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, and supervised by Dr. Howaida Morsi, Director of Health Culture, and the team.
The health education teams in the departments began to work according to the awareness plan in the markets, clubs, schools, service directorates, NGOs, government departments and gatherings to educate and warn citizens of the danger of eating poisonous ticks.
Ismailia health warned of the danger of ticks or rabbits, stressing that they cause very serious gastrointestinal poisoning with tidrodotaxine.
The reason for calling it the “rabbit” fish is because it resembles it in the shape of the front of its teeth, as well as the way it is skinned before eating, following the fact that some people start catching and selling it without knowing its danger to public health.
Ismailia health confirmed that it is a poisonous fish, and although it is dangerous, it is not hostile. It breathes itself when feeling danger in preparation for the attack. The professional fisherman knows its shape and composition, and some of them usually get rid of it.
In Egypt, fish is considered prohibited to be caught, sold or traded in the market due to its toxicity and danger to the health of citizens and public health. It lives on the sea floor and feeds on fish droppings.
Several years ago, the rodentfish was not present in these large numbers in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, but its numbers increased significantly in the past few years. It was not present in the Mediterranean and the fishermen did not know it in Alexandria, but rather migrated to it from the Red Sea via the Suez Canal.
Ismailia health explained, where the poison is found in the fish, as it is found in the liver, intestines, skin, genital and gills, and is not found in meat.
She indicated the characteristics of the poisonous fish, with a grayish skin with points and a head that represents more than a third of the body’s volume approximately, and these fish contain poisonous glands located in three different places of the body, where they are found under the skin, near the viscera, and next to the marrow, and at the bottom of the head of this fish there A poisonous gland, if this gland bursts, it makes the whole body of the fish poisonous, and the liver of these fish is very toxic, and the toxic parts represent approximately 12-13% of the meat (the weight of the fish), and 39 species live in salt water and 28 in fresh water.
The reason for being toxic is because it feeds on toxic algae and the toxin in these fish is called tidrodotaxin and it is produced in fish with special bacteria, and the toxin is found in the skin and viscera (ovaries, liver, stomach and intestines), and there is no poison in the meat of these fish.
The toxic dose for humans is less than one milligram, and thus this toxin is considered one of the most deadly toxins, and it is not affected by cooking.
Symptoms of poisoning vary from one person to another according to the amount they ingested, and they begin with the desire for deep sleep that may reach more than 6 hours or the occurrence of numbness in the face, tongue and lips, in addition to cases of diarrhea, vomiting and dizziness, and often reach the point of stopping the respiratory system and occurrence Death.
According to the dose, the first symptoms appear in the form of dizziness, sweating, numbness, itching and vomiting, and the most severe symptoms appear in the form: muscle pain, respiratory problems, a drop in blood pressure and paralysis that leads to death due to respiratory failure, and death occurs between 6 To 8 hours.
The danger of the matter is that some fish vendors resort to skinning that fish and selling it as a “fillet” so that the features of the fish are hidden, and it is sold at very cheap prices, especially with the street vendors.
In Egypt, fish are grilled with their viscera, and as a result of the high temperature, the toxin is distributed to the fish’s muscles, and thus it becomes poisoned.
The rodent or rabbit fish is one of the most toxic fish, as a result of its excretion of tetradoxine, which is a toxic substance equivalent to 1200 times the deadly substance cyanide, and one fish has a quantity of toxins capable of killing 30 people.
Toxic substances also accumulate in the fish’s teeth due to the decomposition of its food, which includes a type of toxic green algae.
The poison of this fish is of the type “tetradotoxin”, which is concentrated in three different places, and some are tempted by the large liver in that fish and is taken with food.
If a housewife or fish seller tried to clean and skinned them and did not remove the poisonous glands from them carefully and carefully, the one who eats them will die immediately, due to the severity of their toxicity, and there is no anti-toxin serum.