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August 13, 1932

BOTULISM IN NORTH DAKOTAREPORT OF OUTBREAK OF THIRTEEN FATAL CASES

Author Affiliations

Bacteriologist in Charge, State Public Health Laboratory BISMARCK, N. D.

JAMA. 1932;99(7):557-559. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740590037010

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Abstract

In reviewing one of the early biennial reports of the North Dakota State Board of Health we find that an outbreak of so-called ptomaine poisoning occurred at Mayville in June, 1895. The victims, all of whom died, had eaten some canned cove oysters from the same can, and all of those who had eaten of the oysters were affected. The symptoms recorded were:

Disturbed vision, swollen tongue, difficulty in speaking and swallowing, the latter increasing until patient was unable to swallow at all. Complete paralysis of pharyngeal and esophageal muscles for several hours before death. Heart action toward end feeble. Duration forty to sixty hours.

In the light of present knowledge, these were undoubtedly cases of botulism.

The first recorded outbreak of botulism in North Dakota occurred in June, 1930, at Golva, Golden Valley County, with four fatal cases reported. North Dakota suffered its second reported outbreak of botulism in

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