At least 14 people in the city of Uzgen, Osh oblast in southern Kyrgyzstan have been sickened with food poisoning caused by suspected botulism, including four children, according to a report.


According to the press center of the Ministry of Health, on March 11 nine people sought medical care for symptoms of botulism, followed by five more the next day. Currently, three victims are in serious condition, one of them is transferred to the intensive care unit.

According to preliminary data, people were poisoned with homemade canned vegetable salad.

Samples for laboratory testing were selected. An epidemiological investigation is being conducted.

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.