Foodborne botulism is a serious and potentially deadly disease

Foodborne botulism is a serious and potentially deadly disease
A mother of three from California is paralyzed in hospital with botulism after eating contaminated nacho cheese sauce.

Lavinia Kelly, 33, is one of five confirmed cases of botulism linked to patients who ate at the Valley Oak Food and Fuel gas station in Sacramento, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Foodborne botulism usually occurs in foods that are improperly stored or prepared. 

Botulism spores exist in the environment and in the absence of oxygen grow into bacteria that excrete toxins. Botulinum toxins are one of the most lethal substances known, according to the World Health Organization.

Symptoms usually occur within 12 to 36 hours after exposure, with fatigue, weakness and vertigo often followed by blurred vision and difficulty speaking.

The toxins affect the nervous system and cause paralysis. Vomiting or diarrhea are common and the disease can cause weakness in the muscles.

Kelly ate the contaminated nacho cheese sauce on April 21. She was admitted to intensive care the following day.

Officials said there were four more potential cases linked to the nacho cheese sauce, which would bring the total number of potentially affected people to nine.

Kelly’s family on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the gas station for negligence.

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Foodborne botulism is a serious and potentially deadly disease



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