Botulism Sickens 20 Inmates in Mississippi Prison

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Inmates Fall Ill After Consuming Prison Booze

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Botulism is making a scare in a federal prison in Mississippi as twenty inmates got sick and more than a few dozen hospitalized due to the paralytic illness.

The Federal Bureau of prisons said the inmates became ill after drinking homemade alcohol that was made at the prison.

Liz Sharlot, a spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Health, said inmates began falling ill June 7 and 8. The inmates remained at the hospital and received an anti-toxin.

The Mississipi Yazoo City institution, which houses 1,310 inmates, is now on limited operations after the news of the outbreak. The institution tentatively halted family visits and release of inmates.

Botulism is Deadly

Though highly preventable, botulism is a rare and deadly paralytic illness. A germ causes botulism. This illness is not spread from person to person, which means only those who consumed the prison alcohol are at risk.

These toxins are extremely deadly poisons that affect the nervous system and eventually may cause muscle paralysis. The toxin-producing bacteria are prominently present in dust, soil, and other agricultural products. One can get botulism from eating contaminated food or by injecting contaminated drugs.

Illness can begin from six hours to 10 days after exposure. Symptoms include blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing and muscle weakness that moves down the body.

In serious cases, botulism can result in death due to respiratory failure. In addition, patients may have fatigue and shortness of breath for years.

According to the Center for Disease Control there are only about 110 cases in the US each year.

Prison wine is also known as hooch or pruno. This booze is illegal behind bars. But some inmates break this rule and the outcome can be the worst nightmare for the prisoners just like what happened in Yazoo City jail.

The booze is mainly made from fermenting vegetable and fruit scraps.

The Clostridium botulinum that cause botulism.
The Clostridium botulinum that causes botulism.

 

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.