Geographic Distribution

A low incidence and sporadically occurring disease, botulism has been well documented in many parts of the world, as indicated in Table VIII. 19.2. Although completeness of official reporting varies among countries, hence preventing reliable estimates of true distribution and incidence, it is clear that botulism is a disease with significant case fatality rates wherever reported.

Table VIII.19.2. Reports of botulism from various countries in recent years

Average

Average

Case

cases

deaths

fatality

Country

(per year)

(per year)

rate (%)

Poland

310

31

10

(1959-69)

Germany

66

3

5

(1962-71)

U.S.S.R.

47

14

29

(1958-64)

United States

21

7

31

(1950-73)

Japan

19

5

27

(1951-9)

France

9

1

5

(1956-70)

China (Sinkiang)

9

4

44

(1949-57)

Canada

8

3

35

(1961-7)

Belgium

4

NA<"

-

(1946-71)

Norway

4

NA°

-

(1957-71)

Denmark

1

NAa

(1958-72)

Hungary

1

1

Source: Smith (1977), Botulism: The Organism, Its Toxins, the Disease. By courtesy of Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, Springfield, 111. °NA = not available.

Source: Smith (1977), Botulism: The Organism, Its Toxins, the Disease. By courtesy of Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, Springfield, 111. °NA = not available.

Foods primarily responsible for botulism vary considerably among countries, reflecting differing dietary and food preservation practices. In Poland, Germany, and France, canned meats have accounted for the vast majority of outbreaks, whereas in Japan and Russia home-preserved and pickled fish have been most commonly incriminated. In the United States, low-acid canned vegetables, particularly beans, peppers, and mushrooms, have been the most common sources of botulism, with relatively few outbreaks traced to meat or fish. Most instances in all parts of the world are associated with improper home canning or pickling, though the far more serious public health problem of botulism associated with faulty commercial canning does continue to occur.

William H. Barker

Your Heart and Nutrition

Your Heart and Nutrition

Prevention is better than a cure. Learn how to cherish your heart by taking the necessary means to keep it pumping healthily and steadily through your life.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment