The HSE is urging Irish rugby fans who ate at a wine bar in Bordeaux to seek urgent medical care as a Mayo man remains in intensive care with botulism.
The man is in hospital in Paris where his 32-year-old wife died of complications related to the toxin yesterday.
The couple married last May and were reportedly due to go on their honeymoon later this year.
They had travelled to Bordeaux to watch Ireland’s Rugby World Cup game against Romania and ate at the Tchin Tchin wine bar which has been linked to a deadly outbreak of botulism in the city.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning Irish Examiner Health Correspondent Niamh Griffin said several Irish people are being treated for botulism in France after the outbreak.
“They seem to have been in this bar eating the canned sardines which are at the centre of this outbreak,” she said.
“It seems, tragically, that she was in hospital and it was not recognised that she was having Botulism because it's such a rare condition.
“She was discharged from hospital - or possibly not even admitted, we're not really sure yet - in Bordeaux and then went to hospital again in Paris where the couple were living.
“So, it's a desperately sad situation.”
She said it is understood another Irishman who is sick with botulism in France is a friend of the couple.
The HSE earlier this week said a “small number of Irish citizens” have been affected by the outbreak and are receiving appropriate care in France.
The health service is advising anyone who ate sardines at the Tchin Tchin Wine Bar between Monday, September 4th and Sunday, September 10th and who feels unwell to seek urgent medical care at an Emergency Department.
It said the advice “only applies to those who ate sardines at the premises during the time specified”.
“The thing with Botulism is, many of these victims, their symptoms appear quite quickly, but it can take up to two weeks for the symptoms to appear,” said Ms Griffin.
“It can be, as we see now, quite serious. In 5% to 10% of cases, it can lead to deaths and it also causes paralysis and a number of other really, really nasty symptoms.
“So, the HSE is really urging anyone who was in that bar in Bordeaux - and as we know, there were a lot of Irish people in Bordeaux the last few days because of the rugby match - to really come forward, if you have any sort of unusual symptoms and talk to a medical expert.”
The HSE says botulism symptoms include:
- Blurred vision.
- Difficulty in swallowing and speaking.
- Sometimes diarrhoea and vomiting can occur.
- The disease can lead to problems with vision, and paralysis.