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The Impact of Global Warming on Ciguatera Illness in Florida

Paper Reviewed
Radke, E.G., Reich, A. and Morris, J.G. Jr. 2015. Epidemiology of Ciguatera in Florida. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 93: 425-432.

Radke et al. (2015) begin their intriguing report by writing that ciguatera fish poisoning "is a marine food-borne illness that causes severe gastrointestinal and neurologic symptoms" as a result of "the consumption of reef fish containing toxins produced by benthic dinoflagellates of the genus Gambierdiscus," further noting that this malady is "endemic to many tropical and subtropical areas worldwide, with a range of latitudes from 35°N to 35°S." And because of hypotheses that suggest that increasing seawater temperatures associated with long-term climate variability may increase ciguatera incidence and range worldwide, they say "it is important to update our estimates of disease incidence and the geographic distribution of ciguatoxic fish," which is what they thus proceeded to do for the U.S. state of Florida.

More specifically, the three researchers conducted an analysis of 291 disease reports of ciguatera illness in Florida over the period 2000 to 2011, along with an e-mail survey of 5,352 recreational fishers, in order to estimate disease incidence and underreporting, as well as to identify various high risk demographic groups, fish types and catch locations. And speaking of ciguatera disease, they say that these efforts revealed "there is little evidence that incidence or geographic range has increased because of increased seawater temperatures since earlier studies," noting, in fact, that "incidence has, if anything, decreased over the last three decades."

And so we see that yet another climate-alarmist "scare story" has little evidence to support that group's overarching gloom-and-doom view of the world's physical and biological environments.

Posted 23 February 2016