October 24, 2016

Botulism from Prison Hooch Sickens 17 Inmates in Mississippi

Botulism in homemade alcohol, also known as prison hooch, has sickened 17 inmates at the Yazoo City Medium Security Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) and one case at the Federal Transfer Center (FTC) in Oklahoma City, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The inmate at FTC Oklahoma drank the poisonous mixture before transferring to the Oklahoma City facility. Health officials believe inmates mixed vegetable and fruit scraps with sugar and water in an attempt to make alcohol. Fifteen inmates remain hospitalized,  two have returned to the Yazoo facility. Botulism is caused by a nerve toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which is found in soil and dust. Because it causes paralysis which eventually affects the muscles used to breathe, it can be fatal if … [Read more...]

Jailhouse Wine: Compost Pile Aroma with a Finish of Botulism

Prisoners who drink jailhouse wine are often among the small number of Americans sickened by foodborne botulism each year. Batches of jailhouse wine, sometimes called pruno or hooch, are ideal breeding grounds for the bateria that causes botulism, a life-threatening disease that paralyzes muscle groups starting at the head and working its way down.  When the nerve toxins reach the muscles that control breathing, botulism is fatal without medical intervention. A recent study looked at a 2011 outbreak at a Utah prison that sickened eight people. The prisoners became ill after drinking the pruno. In three of them, the disease had progressed to the muscle groups affecting their lungs. They were intubated to prevent respiratory failure. Botulism cannot be spread from person to person. … [Read more...]

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. Botulism, 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, … [Read more...]

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