Brazil: Man suffers agonizing death at 46 after cooking and eating highly poisonous fish

The poisonous fish, which has enough poison to kill 30 people, is known to be 1,200 times more deadly than cyanide.

A Brazilian dad-of-three tragically died after eating one of the world’s most poisonous fish, a toxic pufferfish, which is known to be 1,200 times more deadly than cyanide.

Magno Sergio Gomes, 46, and his mate tucked into the lethal fish over Christmas after receiving it as a gift, reports say.

The pair gutted the fish, took out its liver, boiled it and ate it with lemon juice in Aracruz, Espirito Santa, in eastern Brazil.

But less than an hour later, both men fell seriously ill, according to Gomes’ devastated sister Myrian Lopes. “Magno started to feel numb in his mouth, then he went with his wife to the hospital, driving his car,” she said.

“When he got there, his mouth was even more numb, and he felt sick. Soon after, he had a cardiac arrest that lasted eight minutes.”

Gomes was put on life support but sadly never recovered. He passed away on Saturday. “The doctors told our family that he died from poisoning, which had quickly travelled to his head,” Lopes added.

“Three days after being admitted, he had several seizures, which greatly affected his brain, leaving little chance of recovery,” she explained.

Lopes revealed that her brother’s mate survived the ordeal but is struggling with his legs. It’s unclear if this friend was the same one who gave Gomes the pufferfish.

Pufferfish are incredibly risky to eat as they contain lethal toxins tetrodotoxin (TTX) and/or saxitoxin, which can cause severe illness and even death, warns the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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“These are central nervous system toxins and are more deadly than cyanide,” the FDA shares on its website.

“Symptoms start within 20 minutes to two hours after eating the toxic fish. Initial symptoms include tingling of the lips and mouth, followed by dizziness, tingling in the extremities, problems with speaking, balance, muscle weakness and paralysis, vomiting, and diarrhoea. In severe intoxications, death can result from respiratory paralysis.”

The toxins are found in the livers, gonads, skin and intestines of pufferfish. They are considered the second most poisonous vertebrate in the world, after the golden poison frog.

Despite the dangers of eating pufferfish, they are considered a delicacy in Japan, where they are known as fugu. Expert Japanese fugu chefs learn to safely chop out parts of the fish that contain TTX.

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