Following the death of four who died after consuming a strange fish now identified as puffer fish, the Kpando Municipal Assembly has placed a ban on the sale of all forms of the fish.
The Public Health Emergency Committee of the Kpando Assembly made the ban known via a statement. The committee said that the people of Alvanyo despite being aware of the lethal abilities of the fish, still chose consider it for consumption.
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“This fish is well known by the locals and the danger it poses when not handled properly before consumption. But they continue to catch and sell it to the public,” said the committee.
“To prevent this further deaths the Committee has decided to temporarily ban the sale of the puffer fish in any form either fresh, smoked or salted until further notice.”
The statement concluded by issuing a warning to those who would regardless of the ban go ahead with the sale of the fish.
“Anybody caught selling the fish to the public will be dealt with accordingly,” the statement warned.
In addition to the four people confirmed dead from the consumption of the fish, the Kpando Assembly revealed that 26 others who also consumed the fish have been hospitalized.
The government was able to ascertain that the deaths were caused by food poisoning after an autopsy was conducted on the bodies on the deceased.
Ghana has now joined the European Union which has long banned the sale and consumption of the fish in its membership countries.
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Following the shocking deaths of the four, the people of Alvanyo and Ghanaians in general have become curious to know more about the strange fish.
According to research, the puffer fish is the second most poisonous vertebrae on earth. Its poisonous nature is attributed to the presence of tetrodotoxin, a substance that is 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide, per the National Geographic.
The puffer fish uses this substance as some form of protection as it is sometimes lethal to other fishes. It also protects itself by gulping water to assume a bigger and round figure to avoid looking an easy prey.
It is estimated that a single puffer fish has the ability to kill 30 adults.
Interestingly, the puffer fish can be a completely harmless meal IF prepared by professional and licenced chefs.
It is widely consumed in Japan, although the liver is completely discarded.
The lethal tetrodoxin causes the victims to remain fully conscious as the central nervous system slowly shuts down, this is because it does not interfere with the blood-brain barrier.
Victims begin to show symptoms between 30 minutes to 3 hours after consumption. The symptoms include numbness of the tongue, lips and entire mouth, headaches, and vomiting. The victim dies after the lung and heart muscles are completely paralyzed. This paralysis causes suffocation.
At least 120 species of puffer fish have been identified worldwide.
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