Eleven members of the Souza family of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are now paralyzed and in critical condition after unwittingly cooking and eating an extremely poisonous pufferfish.
The pufferfish is considered a delicacy in many countries and can be very delicious. However, if not prepared correctly, this fish is also extremely deadly.
The pufferfish, which was given to them by a friend, was considered such a wonderful gift that Mrs. Souza invited the extended family over to enjoy it. She fried it up, placed it on the table, and let her relatives dig in.
Within seconds of biting into the fish, everyone became violently ill. The Souzas family began vomiting uncontrollably and lost the feeling in their face, arms, and legs.
After only minutes, all of the family members who ate the fish, which included four children under the age of six, became completely paralyzed.
“My husband was the first to say he couldn’t feel his tongue, then his face, and then his arms,” Christiane Souza told Brazil’s RJ TV.
“Then his legs went dead and he couldn’t stand up anymore. It was terrifying.
“My brother-in-law was the same. He didn’t even make it out the door. We had to carry them out and rush them to hospital in a car.”
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The pufferfish is the most deadly fish in the world. It contains a toxin 1,200 times more powerful than cyanide, a single drop can kill an adult within 24 hours.
According to Metro, there is no known cure for the poison, which eventually suffocates the victim while they are still awake. However, doctors can fight the poison by quickly emptying the stomach and feeding patients activated charcoal to bind the toxin.
Grandmother Maria do Carmo, who didn’t try the fish, said her grandson, daughter and son-in-law were all in a critical condition.
“We’re praying for a miracle,” she said.
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