Foodborne botulism has been linked to two deaths in an Argentinian province.
The Ministry of Public Health in Misiones reported the two fatalities and at least four other cases occurred this past week in the village of Andresito.
The four ill people, including three adults and one child, are being treated in the intensive care unit of a local hospital. According to media reports, a third person, a child, has since died and up to 10 people have been affected.
Agency officials said that products suspected to be linked to the food poisoning have been seized. Local media reported homemade sausages are believed to be the source of infection.
Botulism antitoxin has been brought from Buenos Aires and Corrientes to reinforce local stock.
Officials reminded people about how food that is not approved by the relevant authorities should not be consumed.
Botulism poisoning is a rare illness caused by toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Untreated, botulism can paralyze the muscles needed for breathing, resulting in sudden death.
Anyone who has developed signs of botulism poisoning should immediately seek medical attention, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food. However, symptoms can begin as soon as 6 hours after or up to 10 days later,” according to the CDC website.
The symptoms of botulism may include some or all of the following: double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, a thick-feeling tongue, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. People with botulism poisoning may not show all of these symptoms at once.
These symptoms result from muscle paralysis caused by the toxin. If untreated, the disease may progress, and symptoms may worsen to cause paralysis of specific muscles, including those used in breathing and those in the arms, legs, and the body from the neck to the pelvis area.
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