Britons planning holidays or business trips to France and Spain are being urged to exercise extreme caution following serious health warnings. An outbreak of botulism in Bordeaux, France, has already claimed one life and hospitalised several others, while Spain is grappling with a monkeypox outbreak and extreme heat warnings.
The UK Health Security Agency and the French health authorities have issued a public warning specifically targeting those who have visited Bordeaux and dined at the Tchin Tchin Wine Bar between 4 and 10 September.
Botulism, a severe form of food poisoning, has been identified as the cause of the outbreak. The restaurant is particularly popular among tourists and is located in a town renowned for its wine and food culture.
Symptoms of botulism include nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhoea, progressing to paralysis if untreated. The illness is caused by improperly preserved food and does not spread from person to person. In this case, sardines preserved by the restaurant owner himself have been identified as the source. The restaurant has been closed for thorough cleaning, and remaining sardines have been seized for further testing.
Meanwhile, Spain is facing its own set of health challenges. A monkeypox outbreak was recently reported after six patients were diagnosed with the illness. The Barcelona Public Health Agency has urged those in the area to be vigilant. Monkeypox is a viral disease that can cause fever, headache, muscle aches, and rash.
In addition to the monkeypox outbreak, Spain is also experiencing extreme heat, leading to warnings about potential heatstroke. Symptoms include high temperature, nausea, rapid breathing, and headaches. Those experiencing these symptoms are advised to seek immediate medical help.
The botulism outbreak in Bordeaux has international ramifications, as among those hospitalised are American, Irish, German, and Canadian nationals. An international health alert has been issued, asking hospitals worldwide to look out for patients showing symptoms of botulism who have recently visited Bordeaux.
Anti-toxins from military stocks are being transported to Bordeaux, and authorities are attempting to contact other potential victims. A total of 25 people could be affected by the botulism outbreak, according to health services.
Both the UK Health Security Agency and the Foreign Office have advised Britons to consult healthcare professionals if they have visited the affected areas or exhibit symptoms. For those in France, emergency services number 15 should be contacted urgently. In Spain, extreme caution is advised due to the monkeypox outbreak and ongoing heat warnings.
As the holiday season approaches, Britons are urged to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions when travelling to France and Spain. While enjoying the cultural and culinary delights these countries offer, it is crucial to remain informed and heed public health warnings to ensure a safe and healthy trip.