Botulism from improper canned foods
Twelve individuals of different nationalities (American, Canadian, German, Irish, and French) have contracted botulism, with one death reported in the Paris region. It is believed that all of them dined at the same restaurant.
𝐁𝐨𝐭𝐮𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐦 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐮𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium 𝐶𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑑𝑖𝑢𝑚 𝑏𝑜𝑡𝑢𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑢𝑚. This toxin, known as the 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐮𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐮𝐦 𝐭𝐨𝐱𝐢𝐧, 𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲’𝐬 𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞𝐬. According to the World Health Organization, initial symptoms include weakness and dizziness, followed by vision problems (double or blurred vision), a sensation of dry mouth, and difficulty swallowing and speaking. 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐲𝐦𝐩𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐚 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐲𝐬𝐢𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐬 and can extend to the limbs. Botulism can lead to 𝐝𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐢𝐧 𝟓% 𝐭𝐨 𝟏𝟎% 𝐨𝐟 𝐜𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐬.
𝐈𝐦𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐥𝐲 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐞𝐝 𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐫 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐬 can create optimal conditions for toxin production by the bacteria. Most outbreaks involve cases of "foodborne botulism", resulting from the 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐡𝐨𝐦𝐞-𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐬. When preparing home-canned foods, it is crucial to employ 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐡𝐧𝐢𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧. Whether it is home-canned or store-bought food, it should be discarded if the container is leaking, damaged, or has an abnormal aspect. In addition, it is imperative to 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐰 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐨𝐝 that is discolored, moldy or emits an unpleasant smell.
Interestingly, 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐮𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐮𝐦 𝐭𝐨𝐱𝐢𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐬𝐨 𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐬𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐜 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐩𝐮𝐫𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐬, such as in chronic migraine or strabismus treatment, as well as for temporary wrinkle reduction.