One dead from botulism in Vietnam

Public health authorities in Vietnam are investigating an outbreak of foodborne botulism that has killed one person.

The Vietnam Food Authority (VFA) said there were three recent cases of food poisoning in Quang Nam province.

The outbreak in Phuoc Duc resulted in 4 cases and 1 death. The source was a species of fish contaminated with Clostridium botulinum type E.

Food poisoning in Phuoc Kim also infected four people, an investigation in Phuoc Chanh is ongoing, and authorities are awaiting test results of food and patient samples.

Earlier this week, the Quang Nam Health Department organized training for medical professionals on early detection and treatment of botulism, a rare but life-threatening condition caused by the toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum.

In foodborne botulism, symptoms usually begin 18 to 36 hours after eating the contaminated food. However, as soon as he can occur after 6 hours or up to 10 days. Symptoms include double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing or breathing, numbness, a stiff tongue, dry mouth, and muscle weakness.

previous outbreak
This is not the first time Vietnam has dealt with an outbreak of foodborne botulism. In 2020, 12 of her people got sick in her six states in the South. Cases were also recorded in northern states.

A report in the journal Anaerobe describes the first documented case of foodborne botulism in Hanoi, which was linked to a vegetarian home canned patty. A healthy Vietnamese couple, a 70-year-old husband and her 68-year-old wife, fell ill after eating patties that were sold online.

Another study published in the Western Pacific Surveillance and Response Journal found that between July and September 2020, 11 people were critically ill and needed respiratory assistance.

A history of foods eaten in the 4 days prior to symptom onset showed that all cases consumed canned vegetarian patties. detected from In mouse bioassays for toxicity of putty samples, all mice died with clinical signs of botulism. The patty had mushrooms, soybeans and nuts.

Patients ranged in age from 20 to 64 years, with a median age of 38 years. Eight of the 12 were women and reported eating a vegetarian diet. All 11 hospitalized patients required ventilator support, but no deaths were recorded. Four serious cases were treated with botulinum antitoxin provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).

A limitation of this work was that the environmental study was conducted by a separate team and the researchers were unable to investigate the canning company, so they could not determine at what stage of the pate-making process the contamination was introduced.

“Tighter regulation of processed food production and general education on food safety at home are recommended to prevent future outbreaks of foodborne illness,” said the scientist.

overall situation
Another study revealed more than 3,700 food poisoning cases in Vietnam from March 2020 to August 2022.

Researchers collected data on food poisoning incidents through 184 articles in seven Vietnamese online newspapers. The findings were published in the journal Case Studies in Chemical and Environmental Engineering.

Several types of food such as wild mushrooms, toads, alcohol, pate, seafood, and insects have been reported to cause poisoning cases.

Studies have shown that patients often used edible wild plants, fruits, or mushrooms without checking their safety. There have been a few instances where people mentioned ingesting high levels of methanol containing alcohol.

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