Irish Man Battles Deadly Botulism Following French Restaurant Visit


A man from Ireland is currently fighting for his life in a French hospital, following a tragic episode that led to the death of his wife. The pair, along with several others, contracted a rare food-borne illness, botulism, after eating sardines at a restaurant in Bordeaux, France.

The deceased woman, a Greek national of 32 years, was initially discharged from the hospital following treatment for the ailment, however, she later succumbed to complications believed to be connected to the neurological disease. Her husband, a resident of the Castlebar region in County Mayo, Ireland, is in a critical condition, laying under the vigilant care of French doctors.

The couple reportedly journeyed to Bordeaux to cheer for their team in Ireland’s first Rugby World Cup match. Unfortunately, their innocent merriment turned fatal as they consumed homemade sardines sold by Tchin Tchin Wine Bar, a Bordeaux local.

In the wake of this event, the Irish Embassy in Paris has implored citizens who dined at the implicated restaurant and are experiencing symptoms to contact a medical expert with utmost urgency. Echoing this sentiment, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) stated it was aware of a few of its nationals who dined at Tchin Tchin Wine Bar between September 4th and 10th currently receiving medical care. It further asserted there might be more people in the UK who ate at the restaurant and fell under the radar of French authorities.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) of Ireland also acknowledged that some of its citizens are undergoing treatment in France following this incident. They, like the UKHSA, advised anyone who visited the restaurant and fell ill to seek medical aid immediately.

Botulism, as described by the NHS, is a rare but deadly ailment prompted by toxins produced by certain bacteria which tend to breed in improperly preserved food. These toxins can paralyse the body by attacking the nervous system, even threatening the vital muscles involved in breathing. Its incubation period could range from a few hours to days, and it may prove perilous in 5-10% cases if not aptly addressed.

As Bordeaux gears to host several Rugby World Cup matches, the city faces an uphill battle of tracing and treating the victims of this outbreak. This includes tourists and rugby enthusiasts from across the globe, namely, Irish, American, and Canadian nationals. As of the latest count, five out of twelve patients are on respiratory aid, further confirming the severity of the illness.

Botulism, although a serious condition, can be successfully treated if detected early. Therefore, anyone who dined at the restaurant and is experiencing a myriad of symptoms ranging from abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea to difficulties with vision, swallowing, speaking or even breathing, is strongly urged to seek immediate medical attention.


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