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Eight Ukrainians died of botulism in 2017

Since the beginning of the year, 70 people got infected.

As of 13 July, 70 Ukrainians have fallen ill with food poisoning caused by the agent of botulism. Eight of them died, Komsomolskaya Pravda in Ukraine wrote citing the health Ministry's Public Health Center. For comparison, 115 people got infected and 12 died last year, ie the situation with botulism is not as grave considering the seasonal rate.

"People get botulism every year, but the situation is critical this year, because Ukraine has run out of the stocks of anti-botulinum serum," MD Valentyn Shostak told the publication.

"There is another problem: even if you find the vaccine on the Internet, buy it online or bring it in from Russia or Poland, Ukrainian doctors officially have no right to take responsibility and administer that serum, because it is not registered in Ukraine," he went on.

In recent days, four Ukrainians died of botulism. The Ministry of Health said on 13 June that it appealed to international organizations asking to be supplied botulism serum as humanitarian aid to bypass the lengthy registration procedure.

Most cases of botulism have been associated with jerked fish this year.