Several people were hospitalized in Bordeaux for probable cases of botulism, a rare but potentially fatal neurological disease, five of whom were in intensive care on Tuesday September 12, we learned from medical sources and the prefecture.
Most “are of foreign nationality (USA, Canada, Germany). They all frequented the same bar in Bordeaux over the last week, the Tchin Tchin Wine Bar,” explain the Nouvelle-Aquitaine prefecture and the Regional Health Agency (ARS) in a press release. “The suspected food at this stage is home-made canned sardines made by the restaurant owner. »
“We have five patients admitted to intensive care, including four intubated, and three in continuing care,” Benjamin Clouzeau, intensive care doctor at CHU Pellegrin, told Agence France-Presse, specifying that “all of these patients have benefited from treatment. antitoxin.”
“Their condition can potentially persist for several weeks”, during which “multiple complications” can arise, according to him. " This is exceptional. In France, we have between twenty and thirty cases per year. There, we had nine, since one person went back abroad in the meantime,” he added.
Benefit from treatment “as early as possible”
The last contaminating meal potentially dates from Saturday, the doctor does not rule out the arrival of other patients for a few days. It calls on people with digestive signs (diarrhea, vomiting) or vision or speech problems, after having attended the establishment concerned, to contact the emergency services to benefit from antitoxin treatment “as early as possible”. .
The departmental directorate for population protection (DDPP) took samples in the establishment and all the canned goods were recorded pending the results of the analyses, which should be known "within three days", according to the prefecture and the ARS. The establishment remains open, but with reduced service (wine and snacks).
“I admit that I had a batch of sterilized sardines and when I opened them I had to throw away some that had a strong smell. Others appeared healthy and were served to customers,” the restaurant manager told the Sud Ouest newspaper, which revealed the information. “I am devastated for these customers if it turns out they got sick at my house,” he added.
Botulism is a notifiable disease, caused by botulinum neurotoxins divided into 8 types (from A to H) which attack the nervous system and cause eye problems (double vision), difficulty swallowing and, in forms advanced, paralysis of the muscles, particularly respiratory, which can lead to death.