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Beware Of Ciguatera: Sexually Transmitted Food Poisoning

The next time you are experiencing food poisoning but still feel randy, you better use protection.

Ciguatera, a disease caused by eating fish contaminated by toxins, can cause body aches, vertigo, hallucinations, lack of control over muscle movement and dyspareunia, otherwise known as pain during sexual intercourse.

Research shows sexual partners of people suffering from ciguatera can get dyspareunia and other ciguatera symptoms of their own.

There are two reported cases in which men seem to have given their partners food poisoning through sexual intercourse.

Ciguatera has no cure but can be treated for their symptoms, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Amanda Austrin, a New Zealand woman, accidentally ate a toxic part of a reef fish while on vacation in Fiji in July 2011. She still vomits daily and suffers from ciguatera poisoning. She also suffers from neurological problems including memory loss, movement problems, numbness and tingling.

“I’m just holding my own, really,” she said, according to Noosa News. “I still have that feeding tube in my stomach so I have to have nightly feeds and during the days I still can’t take in much food at all, but I am staying out of hospital.”

Robin Slaughter, of the National Poisons Center, described Austrin’s case of ciguatera as “weird” and highly unusual.

A 2010 article in the New Zealand Medical Journal reported about 50,000 cases per year in areas where ciguatera mostly occurs, including Australia, the Caribbean and the South Pacific Islands.

Sources: Noosa News, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 


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