Ohio botulism outbreak leaves nearly 30 people sick

The Ohio botulism outbreak that supposedly started at a church last weekend has thus far infected nearly thirty people in Lancaster, the Ohio Department of Health said in a follow-up to the initial report.

In its latest statement about the outbreak, the state health department reported at least 20 confirmed and 9 suspected cases of botulism in Lancaster Friday.

Dr. Oded Zmora, a University of California Health physician and Asst. Prof. at Cincinnati University College of Medicine said botulism is a rare health issue in the United States with less than 100 cases occurring per year, but it is one of the most potent toxins.

The powerful toxin is created by Clostridium botulinum, a sort of bacteria that occurs naturally in soil.

Speaking about the ongoing botulism outbreak, Zmora said, “It’s one of most potent toxins in nature. One gram can kill 1.5 million people.”

Zmora stressed that improper food preparation, particularly canning, helped the bacteria cause such outbreaks.

The ongoing botulism outbreak is linked to a potluck dinner that was served at the Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church last week. The outbreak has claimed at least one life. The victim has been identified as Kennetha “Kim” Shaw, a 55-year-old resident of Rushville.

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