A continuing common-source outbreak of botulism in a family.
In December, 1974, three cases of botulism occurred in a family; two were fatal. The first patient died after a 10-day illness without botulism being suspected. 4 days later, after a 2-day illness, the second patient was diagnosed as having botulism after a cardiorespiratory arrest; she died 3 days later. In the third patient, the only symptom was dysphagia. Clostridium botulinum type B was found in stool specimens from all three patients. Home-canned (bottled) mushrooms, which were found to contain C. botulinum type B and its toxin, were believed to be responsible for the outbreak; mushrooms were found at necropsy in the gastrointestinal tracts of both patients who died. Heat treatment of the mushrooms during canning had been inadequate.
Horwitz, MA; Marr, JS; Merson, MH; Dowell, VR; Ellis, JM
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