June 5, 2020

Five Prison Hooch Botulism Outbreaks In 8 Years

Prison hooch has been the source of five botulism outbreaks in the last eight years, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Hooch, or pruno, is illicit alcohol prisoners make from rotting fruit.

That was the second botulism outbreak for that maximum security prison in 2012.  In August, an outbreak involving four inmates occurred.

botulismBotulism, which can be fatal,  cannot be spread through person-to-person contact. It develops in contaminated wounds, from IV drug use, or from consuming tainted food or beverages, which is the most common cause. Botulism symptoms include: muscle weakness, difficulty speaking, chewing, swallowing and breathing; and paralysis. The botulinum toxin blocks the nervous system’s ability to communicate with muscles, which leads to paralysis that  eventually moves to muscles that control the airway and breathing.

In 2011, eight prisoners in Utah were part of a botulism hooch outbreak.  And in California outbreaks in 2005 and 2004 sickened one and four prisoners respectively.



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