TWO members of a family at New Takwa village, Kolombangara Island in the Western province have died after eating a poisonous fish, locally known as ‘Balloon Fish’ or Tetraodontidae as its scientific name.
The two deceased, a woman and a child succumbed to their death few moments after eating the poisonous fish.
According to a report from a relative, Willie Wanefasi, both victims and eight others were rushed for medical attention at the Ringi Clinic after the incident.
The child was a Grade 5 student at the Ringi Primary School, on Kolombangara Island.
It was believed that the victims were eating parts of the fish that contained a very highly toxic and poisonous meat that can be harmful to a person after eating it.
According to Wanefasi, the poisonous fish was caught by a villager from New Takwa village during a fishing trip.
“The incident occurred last Saturday when an elderly man from New Takwa Island in Nusa Tuva went out for a fishing trip. When he caught the poisonous fish, he also placed the fish inside the canoe together with his catches when he was heading home.
“When he reached home, he also gutted the fish together with his catches.
“The deceased mother then cooked all the fish after she had gutted them without realizing the danger ahead,” Wanefasi told this paper.
He said after the woman (deceased) also fried some parts of the poisonous fish, including the belly and eggs.
“After she ate the fried portions of the fish, the woman reacts instantly with a severe pain in her stomach.
“The others including other children also reacted badly after eating the poisonous fish,” he added.
She was then rushed to the Ringi Clinic but was pronounced dead at the clinic by nurses on duty.
“The boy who also suffered the same condition was pronounced dead at the Marine Base in Ringi, after an attempt to transport him to Gizo Hospital for further medical treatment failed,” said Wanefasi.
Meanwhile, the other eight victims were transported to Gizo Hospital on Saturday. These include seven children and a female.
According to information gathered by this paper, six children have been discharged from hospital, while the female and another child are being treated by health professionals.
Attempts to contact the Director of the Western Province Medical and Health Services, were not successful on Monday.
According to studies about the poisonous fish which was known locally as Balloon fish or Tetraodontidae, it belongs to a family of primarily marine and estuarine fish of the order Tetraodontiformes.
The family includes many familiar species variously called pufferfish, puffers, balloonfish, blowfish, blowies, bubblefish, globefish, swellfish, toadfish, toadies, honey toads, sugar toads, and sea squab.
The majority of the pufferfish's species are toxic and some are among the most poisonous vertebrates in the world. In certain species, the internal organs, such as the liver, and sometimes the skin, contain tetrodotoxin, and are highly toxic when eaten.
By ULUTAH GINA
Gizo News Bureau