A 45-year-old man died this week from botulism poisoning despite receiving treatment from doctors at Gia Dinh People’s Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.
The deceased, a resident of Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City, was one of three recent patients poisoned with botulism, including two siblings who are recieving treatment at Cho Ray Hospital in the same city.
The man contracted botulism, a serious illness caused by clostridium botulinum, after eating fermented fish on May 13.
He was rushed to Gia Dinh People’s Hospital after developing symptoms of digestive disorder, fatigue, headache, dizziness, and diarrhea. Due to his critical condition, he was put on a ventilator.
The hospital pronounced him dead on Wednesday evening.
A vial of botulism antitoxins was distributed to the hospital to save the patient on Wednesday, the hospital said, adding that the patient succumbed to botulism before the antitoxin could be administered.
The Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health contacted the World Health Organization on Tuesday asking it for the supply of emergency botulism antitoxins for Vietnam to treat some cases infected with the illness.
The organization quickly confirmed that it would provide Vietnam with six vials of Botulism Antitoxin Heptavalent (BAT).
The shipment arrived in Ho Chi Minh City from Switzerland on Wednesday.
Botulism is a serious illness caused by clostridium botulinum, a poisonous substance in the bacteria found in badly preserved food. It is a rare disease in Vietnam and in the world, according to the administration.
As such, the supply of BAT is also limited worldwide, the administration said, adding that the price of this antitoxin is very high.
On May 20, three people in Ho Chi Minh City were hospitalized due to botulinum poisoning after two of them, who are siblings, ate cha lua (Vietnamese pork sausage) and the remaining man consumed fermented fish kept for too long.
The two siblings, aged 18 and 26, and the 45-year-old man developed symptoms of digestive disorder, fatigue, headache, dizziness, and diarrhea and quickly became worse later with muscle weakness, dysphagia, and diplopia.
In mid-May, three siblings contracted botulism after eating cha lua in Ho Chi Minh City as well.
They were saved after taking botulinum antitoxins shipped from central Quang Nam Province.
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