Queensland medical examiners have announced preliminary autopsy results on the death of Noelene Bischoff (54) and her teenage daughter Yvanna (14), who died suddenly in Bali on January 5, 2014.
Medical investigators are blaming the deaths on the consumption of toxic fish resulting in Scombroid Syndrome Toxicity, complicated by the two women’s medical history of suffering from asthma which accelerated and intensified their reaction to the fish poisoning.
The mother and daughter were staying at a Padang Bai beach resort in east Bali when they had a meal of grilled mahi mahi, vegetarian pizza and chicken curry. Both developed symptoms of vomiting and breathlessness.
Assisted by hotel staff to a nearby medical facility where the elder Bischoff died, followed by her daughter who died later after being rushed to BIMC Hospital in South Bali.
The bacterium that causes Scombroid Syndrome Toxicity is fairly common, but seldom results in death. One medical expert said the etiology of the deaths was a one in 20 million event, describing an antihistaminic reaction produced by the syndrome in combination with the pre-existing asthmatic condition of the two women. Adding, “It's just unbelievably unlucky.”
When a member of the Bischoff family was asked if his sister and niece would had survived a similar incident in Austral, he said: "They (forensic experts) said it's so rare, it's hard to say. They said probably one of the biggest problems you'd have would be the diagnosis to start with. It's so rare, most people have never heard of it."
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