nsucurrent.com February 22, 2018

10 hospitalized with botulism tied to nacho cheese

24 May 2017, 05:27 | Violet Powell

The state health department is still trying to figure out how the store's cheese became contaminated with a very rare and incredibly deadly pathogen.

Reports state that Lavinia Kelly has been in the hospital for at least three weeks and is now unable to speak because of the infection. The illness can be treated with an antitoxin and supportive care, usually in an intensive care unit.

The bags for dispensers take four to six hours to reach the serving temperature of 140 degrees F, and can be used for up to five days as long as the dispenser heat is on continuously "for food safety".

An Antioch father of two has died from a severe case of botulism and may be a victim of an outbreak traced to a Walnut Grove service station, family members said.

The remaining patients are still hospitalized and on ventilators, since one of the effects of botulism poisoning is paralysis, including of the muscles needed to breathe. Some cases can be fatal.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture gives detailed instructions for how to can foods safely, and the CDC has a list of recommendations to help prevent botulism in your canned food. Symptoms include trouble breathing, blurry vision, slurred speech and droopy eyelids.

But when a botulism outbreak surfaces, people have reason to be concerned: Crane says that the toxin is "one of the most potent neurotoxins known to medical science".

Galindo's brother said he doesn't know for sure if Galindo got the illness from the Valley Oak Food and Fuel in the small area of Walnut Grove, but says the timelines do match up.

Tom Russo, M.D., head of the infectious disease division at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at University at Buffalo and an infectious disease specialist with UBMD Internal Medicine, tells SELF that foods that don't undergo proper processing to kill spores are at an increased risk of causing botulism.

The cheese in question is from Gehl Foods in Wisconsin, the Sacramento Bee reports, and comes in large, shelf-stable pouches. On the bright side, the CDC adds that only 3-5% of patients who suffer from botulism die.

Seeking care promptly may also alert public health authorities and lead to warnings about eating contaminated food. "It is probably not a good idea to get nacho cheese from the gas station either".

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