One person died and seven others are in intensive care after contracting symptoms suggestive of botulism in Bordeaux. The patients all frequented the same restaurant between September 4 and 10.
A 32-year-old woman died in Bordeaux after contracting botulism. The Directorate General of Health (DGS) announced this Wednesday, September 13, the death of the victim, who had been hospitalized at the Bordeaux University Hospital for several days.
According to Le Parisien, the young woman presented typical symptoms of botulism, a rare but serious illness caused by a toxin produced by bacteria. She died in the Paris region while her partner was placed in intensive care.
In total, ten cases of botulism have been recorded in Bordeaux. Eight other affected people are also in serious condition and five of them have been admitted to intensive care. Another person, of German nationality, was also infected, but returned home before the illness broke out.
The patients’ blood tests are being analyzed at the National Botulism Reference Center. According to Sud Ouest, the analyzes confirmed the presence of type E botulism, a rare form of the disease which is generally associated with the consumption of artisanal preserves or cold meats.
The sick people were all infected in the same place
Health authorities confirmed that all the patients frequented the Tchin Tchin Wine Bar restaurant, located in downtown Bordeaux. The place is very popular with Anglo-Saxon customers. According to the DGS, the patients all consumed sardines in jars made by the restaurateur. The sardines were homemade.
“I admit that I had a batch of sterilized sardines and upon opening I had to throw away some which had a strong odor. Others appeared healthy and were served to customers,” said, on BFMTVthe manager of the restaurant in question in Bordeaux
According to the Pasteur Institute, “botulism is a serious neurological condition caused by a very powerful toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. This develops particularly in poorly preserved foods, and the disease generally results from food poisoning. . Although botulism is rare, its mortality remains high when treatment is not immediate.”
Several symptoms can appear during a botulism infection. The vision of the infected person becomes blurry, the mouth becomes dry due to difficulty swallowing and the muscles may be paralyzed. The most serious cases affect the respiratory muscles, leading to respiratory failure.
Other cases could increase Bordeaux’s toll
This condition remains rare in France with between 20 and 30 outbreaks recorded per year. In the vast majority of cases, botulism is caused by the consumption of family canned goods or artisanal products. The Pasteur Institute stated that “5 to 10% of cases” are fatal.
Those infected in Bordeaux drank in the same bar between September 4 and 10. The Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Health Agency therefore expects “the occurrence of other cases, in the coming days, linked to this establishment”.