Was Olango food poisoning incident due to pufferfish?
Cebu City, Philippines — An investigation is now being conducted to shed light on how a family of nine from Barangay Pangan-an, an islet-barangay part of Olango Island, ended up in the hospital for food poisoning.
Of the nine, one child died while five others were admitted.
It was initially reported that the family were victims of food poisoning after eating pufferfish, locally known as burereng, butiti, or tikong.
But doctors of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) said they have not ruled out other possibilities why the family suffered food poisoning, which resulted to the death of their five-year-old child.
Dr. Ramon Najarro, acting medical chief of VSMMC, said they have extracted and sent samples of the patients’ blood components to the toxicology center of the Department of Health (DOH) in Metro Manila.
“The results will help us determine the cause of their food poisoning,” Najarro said.
He also said the family told attending physicians in VSMMC that they have been eating pufferfish before the incident happened.
“The family told us that they have been eating burereng (local for pufferfish) before. Before they were admitted due to symptoms of food poisoning, they also said they consumed kasag (small crabs),” said Najarro.
Pufferfish is a type of fish known for being poisonous which is commonly found in tropical seas.
The patients, five of whom are children aged 12 to two years old, are now confined in VSMMC for further treatment. /bmjo
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