Botulism outbreak in Bordeaux during Rugby World Cup

Botulism outbreak in Bordeaux during Rugby World Cup
BORDEAUX, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 10: A detailed view of The Webb Ellis Cup prior to the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Wales and Fiji at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux on September 10, 2023 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Rugby fans have been told to be on alert due to a botulism outbreak in Bordeaux, with thousands of supporters in the city for the Rugby World Cup.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, the French health ministry said 10 cases of botulism have been confirmed.

One person has died while eight people are hospitalised in Bordeaux and Ile de France, fhe region surrounding Paris.

Seven of these people are intensive care after contracting botulism.


Botulism is fatal in five to 10 per cent of cases, the French health ministry said.

The ARS Nouvelle-Aquitaine, a local health authority, said the outbreak is linked to a wine bar in Bordeaux. It said the patients included people from America, Canada and Germany, who had been socialising in the Tchin Tchin Wine Bar.

An Irish fan is also in intensive care with a suspected case of botulism, according to The Irish Times. The man’s family have appealed for Irish fans returning from Bordeaux to be warned of the symptoms of botulism.

Ireland opened their Rugby World Cup campaign with an 82-8 victory over Romania in Bordeaux.


Most cases of botulism come from food that has been improperly preserved, including fruits, vegetables, and fish.

Initial symptoms include difficulty swallowing, muscle weakness, double vision, drooping eyelids, blurry vision, slurred speech, difficulty breathing, and difficulty moving the eyes.

By James Cox

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