Foodborne Botulism in the United States, 1990–2000
Published Date:Sep 2004
Source:Emerg Infect Dis. 10(9):1606-1611.
Aged, 80 And Over
Description:Foodborne botulism, a potentially lethal neuroparalytic disease, is caused by ingesting preformed Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin. We reviewed surveillance data and reports from 1990 to 2000. Of 263 cases from 160 foodborne botulism events (episode of one or more related cases) in the United States, 103 (39%) cases and 58 events occurred in Alaska. Patients' median age was 48 years; 154 (59%) were female; the case-fatality rate was 4%. The median number of cases per event was 1 (range 1-17). Toxin type A caused 51% of all cases; toxin type E caused 90% of Alaska cases. A particular food was implicated in 126 (79%) events. In the lower 49 states, a noncommercial food item was implicated in 70 (91%) events, most commonly home-canned vegetables (44%). Two restaurant-associated outbreaks affected 25 persons. All Alaska cases were attributable to traditional Alaska Native foods. Botulism prevention efforts should be focused on those who preserve food at home, Alaska Natives, and restaurant workers.
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