Health authorities have issued an urgent warning about a cheap weight loss procedure being offered in Turkey.
This happened because a person from Norway contracted botulism after receiving the injection, bringing the number of infected people to 88 last year.
The rare disease, which can be fatal, is caused by bacteria.
It can cause paralysis if not treated quickly.
All patients received stomach or stomach Botox, which freezes the muscles in the digestive system, making the patient feel full longer after eating, making it easier to eat less and lose weight.
The cosmetic form of botulinum toxin, commonly referred to as “Botox” by patients, is a popular injectable that temporarily reduces or eliminates lines and wrinkles on the face.
Botox is the product of the US pharmaceutical giant AbbVie.
It is unclear whether the clinics involved used Botox or another brand of botulinum toxin injection.
Botulinum toxin is one of the most toxic biological substances known.
The product comes from toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria and these toxins can be extremely dangerous.
The toxins can attack your body’s nervous system, which includes the brain, nerves, and spinal cord.
If left untreated, botulism can be fatal in five to ten percent of cases.
In July, Britain’s Foreign Office issued a separate warning to Britons traveling to Turkey for medical treatment after 25 people were known to have died there in the last four years.
Turkish clinics are offering the injections, which are also used to combat wrinkles, to those trying to lose weight for as little as £850.
People from other countries travel there for treatment as it is often significantly cheaper.
For comparison, in the UK the same procedure costs around £4,000.
All cases were logged between February 22 and September 1, 2023.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, which issued the warning, said it was not sure whether the latest case was linked to the previous 87 cases.
Most cases with known data were reported from Turkey itself (53), followed by Germany (30), two from Switzerland and another each from Austria and France.
Turkish authorities had traced most of the cases to two clinics, 60 of which were linked to a private hospital in the capital Istanbul. Three of them are linked to a private site in Izmir.
Symptoms of botulism
BOTULISM is a rare but life-threatening condition caused by toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria
Without treatment, botulism eventually leads to paralysis that spreads throughout the body from the head to the legs.
Symptoms may include:
Affected babies may also cry weakly, have difficulty feeding, and have a floppy head, neck, and limbs.