Botulism in Argentina

These Epidemiologic Case Studies are based on historical events and include epidemiologic methods that were practiced at the time. Given the historical nature of this content, the methods that are referenced on this site may be outdated practices in some settings. As some of the practices are still used, they continue to offer educational value.

Target Audience

Public health practitioners with knowledge of basic epidemiologic concepts and experience in data collection and analysis.

Learning Objectives

After completing this case study, the student should be able to:

  • Describe outbreak situations in which acute control measures should be undertaken.
  • Communicate information on an outbreak or outbreak investigation and write a press release.
  • Given the leading hypothesis(es) in an outbreak, develop a questionnaire.
  • Given details on the origin, distribution, and preparation of an implicated food item, identify critical points for the control of contamination and microbial survival and growth.
  • Discuss possible barriers to implementation of specific interventions following an outbreak investigation.
  • Describe measures that can be used to monitor the success of an intervention.
  • Describe the occurrence, signs and symptoms, and control of foodborne botulism.


Successful completion of training in descriptive epidemiology, epidemic curves, measures of association, stratified analysis, study design, and outbreak investigation.


English and Spanish




3 to 4 hours

Continuing Education

Continuing education credits are not available for completing this case study.

Developed By

Jeanette K. Stehr-Green, MD developed this case study in close collaboration with staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • National Center for Infectious Diseases (Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases/Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch and Food Safety Office)
  • Epidemiology Program Office (Division of International Health)
  • Public Health Practice Program Office (Division of Professional Development and Evaluation)

Original Investigation Team

The following individuals investigated the original outbreak of botulism in Argentina: Rodrigo G. Villar, Roger L. Shapiro, Silvina Busto, Clara Rive-Posse, Guadalupe Verdejo, Maria Isabel Farace, Francisco Rosetti, Jorge A. San Juan, Carlos Maria Julia, John Becher, Susan E. Maslanka, and David Swerdlow.