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Botulism case prompts warning in Argentina


Argentinian officials have warned people not to consume a specific product line due to the risk of botulism.

The National Administration of Drugs, Foods and Medical Devices (ANMAT) said a suspected case of botulism has been associated with a product of the A Pleno brand, produced in Villa de las Rosas.

No official details were given about the sick person but local station Radio Verdad was told the patient was 47-years old and remained in the hospital in a serious condition after eating an expired A Pleno product.

The General Directorate of Control of the Food Industry in Córdoba and agencies in the areas of Villa de las Rosas and Villa Dolores are involved in the investigation.

ANMAT advised people not to eat any A Pleno branded products, which include peanut butter and cheese spread alternatives, and told traders to stop selling them.

Another outbreak in Argentina in Misiones earlier this year affected up to 18 people with two deaths. It was linked to homemade sausages made from wild animal meat that were shared in the community.

Other incidents in Austria and Romania
Botulism is a rare but life-threatening condition caused by toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food. However, they can start as soon as six hours after or up to 10 days later.

It can cause symptoms including general weakness, dizziness, double-vision, and trouble with speaking or swallowing. It paralyzes respiratory muscles so most patients must be placed on life support. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distention and constipation may also occur. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention.

In other case, Clostridium botulinum in trout fillet from Turkey was linked to a case of botulism in Austria this month. Fish was also sent to Germany, Hungary and Switzerland, according to the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) portal.

Finally, two people have been discharged from the same hospital in Romania in unrelated botulism cases. A 7 year old was hospitalized for a week in Suceava County with the suspected source being canned food, according to local media. Another patient, who required weeks of treatment in the intensive care unit, has also improved enough so she can be released from the hospital.

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