KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, June 21 (UPI) -- Two women, ages 54 and 83, are dead after eating the poisonous puffer fish in Malaysia, a health department official said.
Dr. Mohd Khairi Yakub, director of the state health department, said the two women, thought to be the first puffer fish fatalities in Malaysia, were among 36 people who suffered food poisoning after eating the dangerous animal, The Star reported Saturday.
Yakub said all of the incidents occurred between May 6 and June 10.
"The 34 have recovered fully," he said Friday.
Yakub said the cases have prompted a public warning from health officials regarding the fish, which contains the natural poison tetrodotoxin.
"We seriously caution people from eating the fish, and have circulated posters and fliers warning people about eating it," he told the Star.
"Our officers are monitoring premises and markets in the affected areas, and we are stopping the sale of the fish anywhere it is found."