Botulism is an acute form of food poisoning, resulting from the consumption of food products contaminated with botulism bacteria and containing botulinum toxin that affects the nervous system. The pathogen of botulism is Clostridium botulinum bacillus that is capable of developing without oxygen supply. It can produce the most potent natural poison. Many people do not know what botulism is and ignore the extreme danger that it poses to human life. Fatality due to botulism in cases of belated medical treatment reaches 70%. Tragic outcomes can be prevented only by promptly seeking physician’s care in the hospital, timely diagnostics and specific treatment.
During the 10 months of 2020, 51 cases of food poisoning were registered across the republic, including 28 cases of botulism with 57 victims. Botulism cases were mainly registered in Osh province – 19 cases with 42 victims.
Botulism signs manifest themselves 2-36 hours after eating contaminated food; sometimes, the latent incubation period can last for 8 to 10 days, however, the onset of the disease more commonly starts after 12-24 hours.
In most cases, botulism begins in a very acute manner. It can manifest itself in several family members or acquaintances, who have consumed canned salads or canned cucumbers, mushrooms, eggplants, or other vegetables and meat products the day before.
Prevention is based on:
- strict adherence to sanitary rules and preparation rules when canning food;
- using only fresh fruits and vegetables;
- thoroughly washing all fruits and vegetables, removing all soil particles;
- storing canned products in a cold place;
- canned foods with swollen lids should not be consumed and should be disposed of;
- do not buy canned foods with sealed lids in unregulated markets and on the street;
- when buying ready-made canned foods, always check the expiration date and inspect the outside of the jar.