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The MMWR is embargoed until 12 Noon ET, Thursdays.
Synopsis for January 17, 2003
Infant Botulism - New York City, 2001-2002
Infant (intestinal) botulism is the most common form of human
botulism in the United States.
Infant botulism results from germination of swallowed spores of botulinum that temporarily colonize the large intestine. Four cases of type B infant botulism in one New York City (NYC) borough were diagnosed within a 12-month period during 2001-2002. All four patients resided in Staten Island. The annual incidence of infant botulism in the United States is two cases per 100,000 live births; incidence in Staten Island during this period was 68, and the incidence in NYC during this period was four. This report summarizes the investigation of these four cases.
Outbreak of Botulism Type E Associated with Eating a Beached Whale - Western Alaska, July 2002
Botulism is a neuroparalytic illness caused by toxins that are
commonly found in the environment.
Because of the potential that a case of foodborne botulism may indicate
an outbreak, healthcare providers should be familiar with the signs and
symptoms of botulism. Treatment for botulism is based on clinical diagnosis
rather than laboratory confirmation of disease. The standard laboratory test
for botulinum intoxication, the mouse bioassay, requires up to 4 days
for final results. Due to the potential for severe medical complications and
the inherent time delay associated with laboratory testing, healthcare
providers should, therefore, base treatment decisions on clinical findings.
Rapid recognition and reporting of botulism cases are important public
health interventions to prevent additional illnesses.
Update: Influenza Activity - United States, 2002-03 Season
Flu shot campaigns should continue throughout the season,
especially for those at high-risk for complications from influenza.
Influenza activity has remained low from late September through early January except in a few states. It is expected to increase during the coming weeks. Laboratory-confirmed influenza infections have been reported from 25 states. Influenza viruses isolated this season are well-matched by this season's influenza vaccination. Antiviral medication can be useful for early treatment of influenza and as an adjunct to influenza vaccination for influenza prevention and control. Because vaccination is the best prevention against influenza, CDC encourages continuing vaccination efforts throughout the season, especially among persons at high risk for serious complications from influenza, health-care workers, and contacts of high-risk persons.
This page last reviewed January 17, 2003
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention