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Przegl Epidemiol. 2012;66(2):267-71.

[Botulism in Poland in 2010].

[Article in Polish]

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Zakład Epidemiologii, Narodowy Instytut Zdrowia Publicznego - Państwowy Zakład Higieny, Warszawa.



The main objective of this article is to assess the epidemiology of foodborne botulism in Poland in 2010, using national surveillance data. In Poland, botulism is a mandatory notifiable disease based on the European Union case definition (probable or confirmed), however given limited laboratory capacity, in national surveillance we also use "possible" case definition for cases reported by physicians based on clinical symptoms (with no laboratory confirmation).


The number of botulism cases reported has decreased over the past years. Between 2004-2008 the median annual number of cases in years 2004-2008 was 49, whereas in 2009 alone, was only 31 cases. In 2010 a total 32 botulism cases (0.08 per 100,000 inhabitants)--including 22 confirmed cases (in 20 cases--toxin type B, and in 2 -toxin type B / E was found) were reported. There was only one--'probable case'--reported on the basis of clinical symptoms and the presence of an 'epidemiological link' (exposure from the same source). Other cases (9 patients) were reported, on the basis of clinical diagnosis without laboratory confirmation and registered as 'possible cases'. Incidence in rural areas (0.18) was 9-fold higher than the incidence in urban areas. Men had higher (0.12) incidence than women (0.05); the highest incidence (0.17) was observed among people aged 50-59 years. All cases were people aged over 25 years of age. In 28% of all cases--homemade canned pork was implicated. Canned fish were also a common vehicle. All patients were hospitalized--for between 5 and 35 days (median 11 days). No deaths related to the disease were reported.


Botulism in Poland is still an important epidemiological problem. A large number of poisonings is primarily due to consumption of homemade canned foods.

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