According to New Zealand Herald reports, Shibu Kochummen, his wife Subi Babu and his mother Alekutty Daniel on Friday evening were found unconscious in their home after taking a dinner of a Wild boar.
Botulism is poisoning caused by the toxin from Clostridium botulinum, a type of anaerobic bacteria that grow in improperly prepared food.
Herald reports that the wild boar dinner had caused them to vomit and faint.
The couple’s two young children have since been in the custody of some church members.
The Boar which Kochummen killed on his hunting trip has been taken for a laboratory test after it has been suspected that it might have been the cause of the poisoning.
An officer of health, in Waikato, Dr Richard Vipond, said experts were still investigating potential sources of the illness, including the wild pork meat.
“We do not have any evidence to determine any broader contaminated game meat, or that there is a risk to public health, however, I would encourage anyone who is hunting or handling game meat to follow guidelines as set out by the Ministry for Primary Industries [MPI],” he noted.
Speaking on the sudden onset of the illness on the three adults, New Zealand National Poisons Centre’s director and medical toxicologist, Dr Adam Pomerleau suggested a toxin rather than an infection, although he had not seen the patients’ clinical details.
Botulism poisoning is a rare and potentially fatal illness with symptoms characterized by vomiting, muscle weakness and paralysis.
Pomerleau has however summed that the level of intensity of the illness could be determined by the amount of the bacteria consumed.
“But it’s all about dose. If the dose is very high, the symptoms could be seen more rapidly — the incubation period could be the day of consumption.”
An antitoxin for botulism does exist but it can be hard to find and must be used quickly, Pomerleau said.
“If it does turn out to be botulism, the faster the antitoxin is given, the better their improvement.”
Recovery would take weeks or months, he said, and there could be residual symptoms.