The Role of a Poison Control Center in Identifying and Limiting an Outbreak of Foodborne Botulism

Jennifer Brown, Mark E Sutter, D. Adam Algren, Jerry D. Thomas, Sean Ragone, Joshua G. Schier, Robert J. Geller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Abstract: Many poison control centers partner with public health agencies to handle weekend and after-hours consultations and emergencies. This event describes the effective use of poison control center capabilities in identifying and limiting an outbreak of foodborne botulism. On September 8, 2006, the poison control center received a call regarding a man aged 77 years admitted to a hospital neurology service with dysarthria, dysphagia, and weakness. The poison control center was contacted regarding a concern for botulism. Further information revealed that the patient's wife and a friend had similar symptoms and had eaten together on the previous night. All three sought treatment at different hospitals. The poison control center successfully located the other two patients and provided information regarding the treatment of botulism. In addition, the poison control center notified the on-call local public health official and the CDC for the release of botulinum antitoxin. Public health officials were informed of our concerns for a foodborne outbreak given the common meal. Their investigation determined that the source of botulism was carrot juice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-678
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology


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