Italian researchers have looked at botulism trends over two decades including a large outbreak in 2020.
Italy has one of the highest botulism rates in Europe with one factor being a strong home canning tradition in the country. From 1986 to September 2022, 406 botulism incidents involving 599 people were laboratory confirmed.
The study described the surveillance system as well as information on botulism cases reported by local health services and those from hospital discharge forms from 2001 to 2020.
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 as long as 10 days later.
Symptoms can include general weakness, dizziness, double-vision, and trouble speaking or swallowing. It paralyzes respiratory muscles so most patients must be placed on life support. Difficulty breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distention and constipation may also occur. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention.