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Wilderness: Scombroid Poisoning (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care for Scombroid Poisoning

A severe or prolonged reaction (hypotension, shortness of breath, tongue or throat swelling) requires medical treatment as soon as possible; this could be a medical emergency.

In people with mild symptoms, people can consult a doctor about treatment with available over-the-counter medications.

How to Prevent Scombroid Poisoning

Scombroid poisons can reach levels that can cause symptoms in people (about 10 -100 mg of histamine per 100 grams of food [fish]) as early as six hours after the food has been unrefrigerated. It is recommended that food (mainly fresh caught fish) be immediately refrigerated and kept at 41 F (5 C) or below until it is cooked and eaten. Fish that are unrefrigerated, has a unusual or "bad" odor or has an odd appearance (honey-combed or dried out) should not be purchased for cooking or consumed.

Medically reviewed by Joseph Palermo, D.O.; American Osteopathic Board Certified Internal Medicine


"Foodborne Illness & Contaminants." Updated Dec 11, 2015.

"Seafood Toxicity." Updated Dec 29, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/30/2016

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Toxicity, Scombroid »

Scombroid fish poisoning (scombrotoxism, scombroid ichthyotoxicosis) is a food-related illness typically associated with the consumption of fish.

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