The Ukraine Ministry of Health reported 88 outbreaks of botulism in 2021, as a result of which 98 people became ill, including three children. Ten cases were fatal.
79 patients were given anti-botulinum serum.
This compares to 2020 when Ukraine reported 65 cases and four deaths.
In 2021, cases of botulism were registered in all regions of Ukraine, except Zakarpattia, Luhansk and Mykolaiv regions. The highest number of cases was registered in Volyn oblast – 9, eight cases were recorded in Zhytomyr, Lviv and Chernihiv oblasts and seven cases were reported in Cherkasy oblast.
The main causes of botulism food poisoning were the consumption of dried / salted / dried freshwater fish of home cooking or of unknown origin, which was purchased on the natural markets (30 cases – 30.6%), canned home-cooked meat (30 cases – 30.6%) .
Food borne botulism is a severe intoxication caused by eating the preformed toxin present in contaminated food.
Food borne botulism occurs when the bacterium Clostridium botulinum is allowed to grow and produce toxin in food that is later eaten without sufficient heating or cooking to inactivate the toxin. Botulinum toxin is one of the most potent neurotoxins known.
Typically in a few hours to several days after you eat the contaminated food you will start to show the classic symptoms; blurred vision, dry mouth, and difficulty in swallowing. Gastrointestinal symptoms may or may not occur. If untreated, the paralysis always descends through the body starting at the shoulders and working its way down.
The most serious complication of botulism is respiratory failure where it is fatal in up to 10% of people. It may take months before recovery is complete.
If the disease is caught early enough it can be treated with antitoxin. If paralysis and respiratory failure happen, the person may be on a ventilator for several weeks.
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