Take heed of govt. warnings, says conch poisoning victim

RasDe’Niro Thompson.

Twenty-four hours after the Ministry of Health released a public warning for an outbreak of conch poisoning in New Providence, one of four persons confirmed to be poisoned by the local delicacy, came forward to share his story.

RasDe’Niro Thompson told Eyewitness News that he was attending a church function Monday when he decided to indulge in some conch chowder.

Unlike the typical food poisoning, which takes a few days before its symptoms become apparent, vibrio parahaemolyticus – also known as conch poisoning, affected Thompson within minutes.

“Forty-five minutes after eating the meal, I became symptomatic. It became so bad that I couldn’t move, I couldn’t drive,” said Thompson.

“It was the worst food poisoning that I ever experienced in my life. I don’t want to wish that pain on my worst enemy.

“I thought the good Lord was calling me home. I had to go to the hospital for treatment, that’s how bad it was.”

But even after being treated at Princess Margret Hospital (PMH), he said the side effects from the conch poisoning persisted.

“In the last 48 hours, I’ve lost about eight pounds. I have just been on vita malt and water ever since. I can’t keep a meal down; I can’t eat a meal because it has no taste to me,” he said.

Thompson encouraged businesses and consumers to take heed of government’s recent warnings about preparing and consuming conch.

“We have to take this message from the government very seriously,” he stated.

“It’s proper hygiene and the government has to educate us about the bacteria that is going around, and just stress the importance of cleaning before they serve it to the customers.”

According to the Ministry of Health, conch poisoning can be avoided by ensuring that the conch is washed with fresh water.

To date, there have been no additional cases reported.

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This article was written by TAJARO HUDSON, Eyewitness News intern.