PARIS (AP) – Matt Jackson was riding an electric bike through the Bordeaux wine region when he started to feel bad. Nine days later he found himself connected to an artificial respirator in an intensive care unit in France infected with botulism, unable to open his eyes and communicating only through notes he had written on a whiteboard.
Jackson was one of the first of a dozen people hospitalized after eating canned sardines at a Bordeaux bar last week in what French authorities believe were cases of botulism, a rare and sometimes fatal disease. which is sick.
A 32-year-old woman from the Paris region has died.
Authorities have issued an alert in France and beyond to find other people who may have eaten the suspected sardines and may be at risk. Among the sick are tourists from the United States, Ireland, Canada, Germany and Spain, according to the regional medical authority ARS.
Cases of botulism from eating foods contaminated with the bacterial neurotoxin botulinum are rare. Common sources are improperly stored, preserved, or fermented foods at home.
At least 12 people who ate canned sardines between September 4 and 10 were hospitalized, according to an ARS official. Some have been discharged, but most remain in intensive care or critical condition, the official said.
All have typical symptoms of botulism, which can include severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, blurred vision, dry mouth, difficulty swallowing or speaking, and neurological problems.