October 28, 2016

Second Fatality Attributed to Ohio Church Potluck Botulism Outbreak

Potato Salad FPBA second fatality has been associated with the botulism outbreak linked to a potluck meal at Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Ohio one year ago,  according to WSYX/WTTE in Ohio. Marcella Barbee, 65, died in November 2015 after contracting botulism at the April 2015 potluck, according to the report.

Previously, one fatality had been reported in connection with the outbreak that sickened 29 people who attended a potluck at Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Ohio. The outbreak is the largest botulism outbreak to strike the U.S. in 40 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Botulism is caused by a nerve toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which is found in soil and dust. Symptoms include: double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, muscle weakness, descending paralysis, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath.

Most patients in this outbreak described onset of symptoms two days after attending the potluck. Home-canned potatoes in potato salad were the likely source of the outbreak, health officials concluded.

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