Senior citizen dies after eating pufferfish

KLUANG: A senior citizen has died after eating pufferfish or ikan buntal, while her husband is now in the intensive care unit (ICU).

According to Johor health and unity committee chairman Ling Tian Soon, the 83-year-old woman and her husband, 84, from Jalan Sin Tiam in Chamek here, ordered the fish through social media and received it on Saturday (March 25) morning.

“They cleaned and cooked the fish for lunch and around 3pm, the woman started shivering and having breathing difficulties," he said when contacted on Tuesday (March 28).

"About an hour later, her husband began displaying similar symptoms.

“Their son rushed them to Hospital Enche’ Hajjah Kalsom’s emergency unit for treatment.

“The woman was pronounced dead at around 7pm while her husband is still in the ICU,” he added.

It is understood that this was the couple’s first time eating pufferfish.

Ling added that the fish they ordered came from a fisherman in Endau, Mersing and was processed by a distributor in Batu Pahat.

He said that the seller is also from Batu Pahat and had sold the fish online, adding that 15kg of the fish was sold to four customers in Chamek, Paloh and one in Yong Peng on the same day.

“Besides the couple, the other customers have yet to consume the fish but the Health Department has obtained samples of the fish from the seller for analysis.

“The public is advised to be careful about what they consume, especially when it comes to food with known risks,” he said.

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