Atencion primaria

[Epidemic outbreak of acute food poisoning caused by pesticides].

PMID 8679880


1) To identify the causes of the outbreak. 2) To adopt the appropriate measures to control it. Observational crossover study. San Benito Health District in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz). Diners who attended a family celebration. On Friday 11th March 1994 there was an outbreak of acute food poisoning. The clinical notes of 9 ill diners were checked; they and 7 unaffected diners answered epidemiological questionnaires. A proportional comparison was then made between those not exposed and those exposed to each one of the foods consumed at this celebration. The clinical picture showed: high level of the Creatine phosphokinase enzyme, general myalgias, vomiting or nausea and visual problems. The average incubation period was 7 hours. The odds ratios of the foods involved was calculated. Although this reached 4 in some cases, the significance tests were not significant in any case because of the study's low statistical power. In the investigation of the trophic chain of the game-birds eaten, the presence of nitrogen or phosphorus atoms, compatible with the pattern of fonofos in the pesticide used on the hunting estate where the birds came from, was isolated. Epidemiological, clinical and biological evidence was found, which places us before acute organophosphorus poisoning. Coordination between the different institutions involved was decisive in finding the cause of the outbreak.