GIZ-Nord » poisoning cases and case series

Poisoning Cases and Case Series

In November 2012, the GIZ-Nord Poisons Center was consulted 11 times on cases of poisoning after ingestion of RED SNAPPER (Lutjanus malabaricus), purchased from different shops of a single trade chain in six different cities of northern and central Germany. In total, 11 patient that have eaten the fish on 2012-11-07 or few days later developed poisoning symptoms:

All patients suffered from nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, typically starting about four hours after the dish. Concomitantly paraesthesia of hands and feet and dysfunctional temperature perception developed. The latter symptoms lasted - with decreasing intensity - for 3 weeks and longer. Furthermore, most patients complained of sleeping disorder, myalgia (muscular pain), and general weakness.

Based on the very characteristic symptoms CIGUATERA POISONING was diagnosed early in most, but not in all cases. Analytical confirmation is in progress.

The symptoms of Ciguatera poisoning are caused by ciguatoxins, synthesized by dinoflagellates on coral reefs, that are ingested by edable fish, e.g. Red snapper.

Local food surveillance authorities, the trade chain and the importer were informed an the fish was withdrawn from the market:

The is no specific treatment for Ciguatera poisoning, all patients were treated symptomatic.

To our knowledge, this is the first occurence of Ciguatera in Germany and is caused by fish imported from tropical areas.

Further Information on Ciguatera of theUniversität Erlangen-Nürnberg (in German):

The German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), in coopaertion with the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), has banned the trade of the the cleaning products named 'Porçöz' on October, 29th, 2010.

The products contain at least 20% nitric acid and thus pose a serious risk to health. According to EUropean Union's legislation the ban is temporary and will be in force until a final decision is taken by the European Commission. The products banned were available mainly in supermarkets that supply Turkish products.

German poisons centres had reported 134 exposures with high propotion of severe poisonings (mostly corrosions) as a result of contact with these products.

Several cases of intoxications caused by a product ('LiDa') promised to reduce body weight were reported to the poisons centres in Freiburg (VIZ Freiburg) and Göttingen (GIZ-Nord Poisons Centre) within the last months.

In all cases, the product was purchased via World Wide Web from outside Germany, all were described to have only organic (plant) incrediences.

A toxicological analysis of the drug was performed and SIBUTRAMINE was detected in high concentration.

The case series was reported in detail to the Deutsches Ärzteblatt/Aerzteblatt International (2009-03-27) .

GIZ-Nord Poisons Centre recommends not to use these products.

Epidemic of Poisoning with a Surface Sealing Spray for Consumers

Since 2006-03-27 German poisons centres have detected a series of poisonings with household products of a product series called „MagicNano“. All products contain silica/silicones in nano particles form (<100 nm diameter), ethanol, water and other ingrediences in small quantities not reported by the manufacturer. The products should be used for sealing of surfaces of glass and ceramics - after treatment cleaning of surfaces should become much easier.

Callers to the poisons centres had used one of two MagicNano spray products containing propellant gas mostly in kitchen or bathroom.

All callers report on dyspnoe, many of them report on cloughing, fever, and headache. During the next days 79 patients have called a poisons centre and have reported symptoms. At least 12 patients have been treated at a hospital and at least 6 of them have developed diffuse alterations of the chest radiography and fever, interpreted as toxic pulmonary edema. Laboratory results for these patients indicate inflammation (e.g. leukocytosis). Radiographic signs and symptoms improved within 12 -24 hours but many patients suffered from dyspnoe for 4 days and longer.

After use of propellant gas free "MagicNano" products symptoms have not been reported  to the  poisons centres yet.

The German Poisons Centres have rapidly notified the cases to the manufacturer and survaillance authorities and the products were withdrawn from the market. The product have only been available in 2500 "Penny" shop in Germany for 20 hours.

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