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Brazil Man Dies After Eating Poisonous Pufferfish Given As A Gift

Brazil Man Dies After Eating Poisonous Pufferfish Given As A Gift

Puffer fish is a popular Japanese delicacy. (Representative pic)

A man from Brazil died after consuming poisonous pufferfish that has enough venom to kill 30 human beings, as per a report in the New York Post. Magno Sergio Gomes, aged 46, was given the fish as a gift by an unidentified friend, though it’s still unknown where it came from exactly. His sister Myrian Gomes Lopes said the incident took place over the weekend in Aracruz, Espirito Santa and “Magno had never cleaned pufferfish before.”

The man and his friend had never handled the fish before, but they cut the fish, took out the liver, boiled it, and ate it with lemon juice. In less than an hour, both started feeling sick. 
Ms Lopes said, “Magno started to feel numb in his mouth.”
The 46-year-old drove himself to the hospital and discovered that “the numbness spread and he went into cardiac arrest for 8 minutes”. 

According to the US Centre for Disease Control, Magno was specifically affected by tetrodotoxin, an incredibly strong toxin found in the liver and gonads of pufferfish and other marine animals. The toxin, which the blowfish uses as a predator deterrent, is almost 1,000 times more lethal than cyanide and has no known treatment. It prevents the “transmission of signals from nerves to muscles” when consumed in large doses, paralysing the muscles and potentially causing death.

Ms Lopes stated that her brother was placed on life support. However, after spending 35 days in the hospital, during which the toxin paralysed his system, Magno died on January 27. “The doctors told our family that he died from poisoning, which had quickly travelled to his head. Three days after being admitted, he had several seizures, which greatly affected his brain, leaving little chance of recovery,” she said.

Although his friend survived the horrific incident, he is having trouble with his legs. “He’s not walking very well. He was neurologically impacted, but he is recovering,” Ms Lopes added.

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