Suspected Botulism Outbreak in Moscow: Over 120 Hospitalized, 30 in ICU

Suspected Botulism Outbreak in Moscow Over 120 Hospitalized, 30 in ICU

More than 120 people in Moscow sought medical attention after a suspected outbreak of an uncommon and extremely serious food poisoning, with at least 30 of them in intensive care, according to health officials on Monday.

Suspected cases of foodborne botulism, a potentially fatal neurological disease that can result in respiratory failure and paralysis, led to the patients’ hospital admission.

According to Russian officials, the famous online delivery business that briefly ceased operations on Sunday in the midst of a criminal probe was the source of the poisonous outbreak in salads.

The deputy mayor of Moscow, Anastasia Rakova, was quoted by state news outlets on Monday as saying that “in total, 121 people sought medical help.”

“At the moment 55 people are in a serious condition, 30 of them in intensive care,” she stated.

On Saturday, Rospotrebnadzor, the city’s consumer and health watchdog, announced that it was carrying out a “epidemiological investigation into suspected cases of botulism.”

The prosecutor’s office in Moscow announced that it has opened a criminal inquiry into a violation of consumer safety regulations.

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Thanks to prompt medical attention, Deputy Mayor Rakova stated that there was “no threat to the lives” of those who had been hospitalized.

Kuchnia Na Rayone (“local kitchen”), the food delivery business connected to the outbreak, announced that it had discovered a “potential risk incident” involving a salad that contained canned beans and that it had halted orders.

What does botulism mean?

Botulism is a very uncommon disease that is usually brought on by poorly prepared food and is associated with canned and preserved foods.

Foodborne botulism is classified by the World Health Organization as a “serious, potentially fatal disease.” It is not shared by individuals.

According to the WHO, early symptoms include exhaustion, vertigo, blurred vision, dry tongue, and trouble speaking and swallowing.

“Incidence of botulism is low, but the mortality rate is high if prompt diagnosis and appropriate, immediate treatment is not given,” according to WHO.

Following a botulism outbreak connected to a French wine bar last year, eight people—including a University of Colorado graduate—were placed in critical care and one lady passed away.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reports that in 2021, the last year for which data were available, there were 82 confirmed cases of botulism throughout the European Economic Area (EEA).


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