We have just returned fron a 3week holiday on Carriacou Island. We absolutly adore this hideaway BUT we have all had a very bad experience there."Ciguatera poisoning". We ate Barracuda at a local Bar/Resturant it tasted good and we enjoyed it. By the next day we were feeling a bit strange.My neice was vomiting and had diarrhea,my husband and I felt lathargic and we all had pins and needles in our hands and feet,freezing when we should have been too hot,eyes watering for no reason and fatigue. Most peculiar though, was the burning sensations whenever you touched anything cold.We thought we had perhaps been to liberal with the insect repellents or that the ant invasion had somehow affected us.
All this was about to dramatically change. on the third day my nieces partner suffered a serious heart attack. He was rushed to Carriacou hospital's casualty dept. stabilisedand then sent by charter plane to Grenada.
They were not equipt to deal with him there so,as the couple are French it was decided they should be sent to Martinique.He was there for 2weeks,this was how serious his condition was,it was then decided he could travel ,under supervision of a doctor,back to france where he is still in hospital. My niece my husband and myself are still suffering from the effects of the poisoning.
I have done some reserch and discovered that the symptoms will last for at least 3-6 months
and may recur over a period of years. There is no antidote for this poison and very little,if anything,that can be done to help.
Why is no-one telling us about this. There are screeds of information about the Carribeen. Grenada and St,Vincent and the Grenadines are hughly popular holiday destinations,yet I had to spend hours trying to get any information about this highly dangerous but detectable poison.
Resturants can get a kit to test for the presence of Ciguatera.It is transfered to large edible fish(Barracuda,Kingfish,Lion fish etc.) through consumption of smaller reef feeding fish.The kit is not difficult to use and takes very little time.
People have died from Ciguatera poisoning. Is it not time the authorities responsible for the wellfare of travellers to their countries, made this information a prominent feature of their tourist information.Why isn't in a feature of tourist office advertisingin the U.K. and elsewhere, and why do tour operator not advise you of the danger.
This will not stop us re-visiting beautiful Carriacou but we will certainly never eat large reef fish again.such a pity.
I hope this will stop others from having to go through the troubles we have had.
If you are going to the carribeen OR the south Pacific Islands,especially Hawai, look up 'CIGUATERA'before you go and be prepared. This poison can kill!