Officials study possible botulism in Amarillo

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — Public health officials are investigating a possible outbreak of botulism in Amarillo.

Dr. Roger Smalligan, public health authority for Potter and Randall counties, told the Amarillo Globe-News (http://bit.ly/1grNhQN ) investigators were en route from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The health district announced Wednesday that there are four probable cases of botulism, a rare, potentially fatal illness caused by a nerve toxin.

According to the CDC, an average of only 145 cases of botulism are reported annually.

Smalligan said one patient had been taken off a ventilator, but another remained, though was improving. All are adult residents of Amarillo, but there’s been no conclusive link or source. He said test results to confirm the illness should be available in one to two days.

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Information from: Amarillo Globe-News, http://www.amarillo.com

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