News

Food poisoning 
& seizures

Though it is rare, Dr Leong Choon Kit of Mission Medical Clinic said there are several reasons that could lead to seizures in patients with food poisoning.

Firstly, the virus could be a neurotoxin. This refers to a poison that affects the brain. An extreme example of this is the poison found in puffer fish, a popular Japanese delicacy.

"This is why when treating food poisoning, it's important to determine whether it was caused by a bacteria or a toxin," said Dr Leong, a general practitioner who is also trained in public health.

Another reason could be severe dehydration, which leads to an electrolyte imbalance. It is more common in small-sized patients like children.

He added that some patients also have "low seizure tolerance", which means that when they have a high fever, usually about 38 or 39 deg C, their bodies can go into shock and seize.

Dr Tan Kee Ling, a general practitioner at Choice Clinic, said food poisoning occurs when a person ingests the bacteria of viruses that is usually found in raw or mishandled food.