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Botulism

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By Bradley Olson and Bradley Olson,Sun Reporter | February 3, 2007
It's one of the rarest infectious diseases, affecting an average of only 100 babies a year in the United States, but infant botulism infected two babies living on the same street at Fort Meade in recent months - puzzling researchers. Clusters of the illness are not unprecedented, experts say, and the ubiquity of the bacterial spores that cause infant botulism makes isolating one source almost impossible. That is especially true in this case, where the military base also happens to be an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site.
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NEWS
By JOE AND TERESA GRAEDON and JOE AND TERESA GRAEDON,peoplespharmacy.com | November 24, 2008
I appreciate you writing about home remedies for children when they come down with colds, but I am alarmed that you suggested lemon and honey for coughs. I feel this needs an urgent disclaimer! Honey can be dangerous for a child under age 2. A friend's 6-month-old baby nearly died from infant botulism. Honey can cause this in infants. Even honey jars have a warning that it is not for small children. Thanks for the reminder. Young children 1-year-old and younger should never be given honey.
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NEWS
By JOE AND TERESA GRAEDON and JOE AND TERESA GRAEDON,peoplespharmacy.com | November 24, 2008
I appreciate you writing about home remedies for children when they come down with colds, but I am alarmed that you suggested lemon and honey for coughs. I feel this needs an urgent disclaimer! Honey can be dangerous for a child under age 2. A friend's 6-month-old baby nearly died from infant botulism. Honey can cause this in infants. Even honey jars have a warning that it is not for small children. Thanks for the reminder. Young children 1-year-old and younger should never be given honey.
NEWS
By Bradley Olson and Bradley Olson,Sun reporter | August 26, 2007
An Army investigation into why two babies living about 100 yards apart at Fort Meade contracted infant botulism within several months of each other confirmed what the Army has said all along: that the bacteria had been naturally occurring. Yet one of the two families -- whose children have recovered -- has filed a $3 million claim against the federal government, alleging that the Army was negligent when it allowed a giant pile of dirt and construction debris to be dumped near both of the homes in a residential community.
NEWS
By Kaana Smith and Kaana Smith,SUN STAFF | June 12, 1996
An afternoon trip to a gardening center turned into a month-long nightmare after Cindy Pack's 4-month-old baby inhaled topsoil dust and contracted a rare case of infantile botulism."
NEWS
November 1, 2001
State health authorities said yesterday they are working with federal disease experts to investigate a Maryland botulism case. Officials said that a patient was hospitalized, but provided no other details of the case. Botulism is a dangerous bacterial infection that can occur in the digestive tract, lungs or through broken skin. About 100 cases occur annually in the United States, according to Dr. John G. Bartlett, chief of infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School, of Medicine.
NEWS
By Jim Robbins and Jim Robbins,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | December 8, 2002
This fall is turning out to be the deadliest yet for loons, ducks and other birds that encounter a natural outbreak of a rare form of the nerve toxin botulism in Lake Erie. Ward Stone, director of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Pathology Laboratory in Delmar, N.Y., which studies the dead birds, said that over the last two weeks his staff had picked up more than 5,500 birds along the shores of Lake Erie in western New York, between Buffalo and Dunkirk, including 126 loons, 4,500 long-tailed ducks, geese, grebes, mergansers, scaups and many types of gulls.
NEWS
By Bradley Olson and Bradley Olson,Sun reporter | August 26, 2007
An Army investigation into why two babies living about 100 yards apart at Fort Meade contracted infant botulism within several months of each other confirmed what the Army has said all along: that the bacteria had been naturally occurring. Yet one of the two families -- whose children have recovered -- has filed a $3 million claim against the federal government, alleging that the Army was negligent when it allowed a giant pile of dirt and construction debris to be dumped near both of the homes in a residential community.
NEWS
By Candus Thomson and Candus Thomson,SUN STAFF | August 10, 2005
Water temperatures in the 90s and runoff from recent squalls might have combined to create a petri-dish mix of toxins that killed 60 of the 200 mallard ducks that live along Havre de Grace's waterfront promenade. State wildlife officials say the ducks and a Canada goose were found dead Monday and yesterday, and they suspect that naturally occurring botulism is to blame. "It may not be that. You're never sure. But these incidents happen every year around the state, mostly in the Western Shore counties that border the [Chesapeake]
FEATURES
By Colleen Pierre, R.D. and Colleen Pierre, R.D.,Contributing Writer | November 10, 1992
I have to backtrack a little. Several weeks ago I suggested using olive oil as a spread for bread instead of butter (high in saturated fat) or margarine (high in trans-fatty acids), because it's a healthier kind of fat.I'll stand by that recommendation, but with some caveats.One is to limit the quantity you use, because eating too much fat of any kind increases the likelihood of unnecessary weight gain, as well as increasing your risks for some kinds of cancer.The second is to be very careful if you're inclined to prefer garlic in your oil. Several years ago the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
NEWS
By Bradley Olson and Bradley Olson,Sun Reporter | February 3, 2007
It's one of the rarest infectious diseases, affecting an average of only 100 babies a year in the United States, but infant botulism infected two babies living on the same street at Fort Meade in recent months - puzzling researchers. Clusters of the illness are not unprecedented, experts say, and the ubiquity of the bacterial spores that cause infant botulism makes isolating one source almost impossible. That is especially true in this case, where the military base also happens to be an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site.
NEWS
By Erica Marcus and Erica Marcus,Newsday | November 8, 2006
A friend of mine makes chicken soup at night, turns off the heat before he goes to bed, leaves the pot covered overnight and in the morning puts it in the refrigerator. I shudder at the thought of leaving food for more than a couple of hours at anything but a cooking temperature or refrigerator temperature. What do you think? I think it sounds fishy. And Kathryn Boor, professor of food microbiology at Cornell University, thinks it sounds downright dangerous. Your friend may well have killed a lot of garden-variety microbes as his soup bubbles away, but he has not eliminated the risk of botulism, "a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton and Justin Fenton,Sun reporter | September 26, 2005
Anyone who's visited a duck pond, bag of bread in hand, knows: If you feed them, they will come. But in the waterfront city of Havre de Grace, that seemingly harmless ritual soon could be illegal - and punishable by a $100 fine. A botulism outbreak killed about 150 birds along the waterfront last month - one of worst cases ever in Maryland, which nature experts say was caused by people feeding the hungry animals. The City Council introduced an ordinance banning the practice Sept. 19, in the face stiff resistance from visitors to the city's waterfront promenade, who tore down signs and threw bread in the face of city employees asking them to stop.
NEWS
By Candus Thomson and Candus Thomson,SUN STAFF | August 10, 2005
Water temperatures in the 90s and runoff from recent squalls might have combined to create a petri-dish mix of toxins that killed 60 of the 200 mallard ducks that live along Havre de Grace's waterfront promenade. State wildlife officials say the ducks and a Canada goose were found dead Monday and yesterday, and they suspect that naturally occurring botulism is to blame. "It may not be that. You're never sure. But these incidents happen every year around the state, mostly in the Western Shore counties that border the [Chesapeake]
NEWS
By Kimberly A.C. Wilson and Kimberly A.C. Wilson,SUN STAFF | July 10, 2003
Dozens of fake patients checked into area hospitals yesterday morning, complaining of muscle weakness, double vision and headache -- all as part of Baltimore's largest-ever bioterror exercise. The volunteers in the mock disaster drill pretended to be the victims of intentional exposure to some of the worst threats that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monitors: botulism and smallpox. By day's end, the first smallpox patient would die. But after role-playing through 21 cases of botulism and 26 cases of smallpox, participants in the "Harbor Biological Attack -- Simulated Exercise" hoped tests of the hospitals' diagnosis and containment systems would prepare them for the real thing.
NEWS
By Jim Robbins and Jim Robbins,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | December 8, 2002
This fall is turning out to be the deadliest yet for loons, ducks and other birds that encounter a natural outbreak of a rare form of the nerve toxin botulism in Lake Erie. Ward Stone, director of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Pathology Laboratory in Delmar, N.Y., which studies the dead birds, said that over the last two weeks his staff had picked up more than 5,500 birds along the shores of Lake Erie in western New York, between Buffalo and Dunkirk, including 126 loons, 4,500 long-tailed ducks, geese, grebes, mergansers, scaups and many types of gulls.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton and Justin Fenton,Sun reporter | September 26, 2005
Anyone who's visited a duck pond, bag of bread in hand, knows: If you feed them, they will come. But in the waterfront city of Havre de Grace, that seemingly harmless ritual soon could be illegal - and punishable by a $100 fine. A botulism outbreak killed about 150 birds along the waterfront last month - one of worst cases ever in Maryland, which nature experts say was caused by people feeding the hungry animals. The City Council introduced an ordinance banning the practice Sept. 19, in the face stiff resistance from visitors to the city's waterfront promenade, who tore down signs and threw bread in the face of city employees asking them to stop.
NEWS
By Erica Marcus and Erica Marcus,Newsday | November 8, 2006
A friend of mine makes chicken soup at night, turns off the heat before he goes to bed, leaves the pot covered overnight and in the morning puts it in the refrigerator. I shudder at the thought of leaving food for more than a couple of hours at anything but a cooking temperature or refrigerator temperature. What do you think? I think it sounds fishy. And Kathryn Boor, professor of food microbiology at Cornell University, thinks it sounds downright dangerous. Your friend may well have killed a lot of garden-variety microbes as his soup bubbles away, but he has not eliminated the risk of botulism, "a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
NEWS
November 1, 2001
State health authorities said yesterday they are working with federal disease experts to investigate a Maryland botulism case. Officials said that a patient was hospitalized, but provided no other details of the case. Botulism is a dangerous bacterial infection that can occur in the digestive tract, lungs or through broken skin. About 100 cases occur annually in the United States, according to Dr. John G. Bartlett, chief of infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School, of Medicine.
NEWS
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,SUN STAFF | October 10, 2001
Though experts place anthrax high on the list of potential biological weapons, only one terrorist group is known to have unleashed it. Fortunately, the attempt was a failure. Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese cult that killed 12 people in 1995 by releasing sarin gas in a Tokyo subway station, had tried eight times over the previous five years to spark epidemics of anthrax and botulism, another toxin. A graduate student who belonged to the cult testified that the group had sprayed agents from the rooftops and from the back of a van. "These guys were lousy microbiologists,' said Dr. Clarence J. Peters, director of a bioterrorism research institute at the University of Texas at Galveston.
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