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February 1948

BOTULISM IN NEW MEXICO: Incidence Over Ten Years, with Report of Six Cases

Author Affiliations

ALBUQUERQUE, N. MEX.

Am J Dis Child. 1948;75(2):203-205. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1948.02030020214005
Abstract

BOTULISM, fortunately, is relatively rare. A study of the cases reported in New Mexico from Jan. 1, 1936 to June 1, 1947 revealed fifteen outbreaks, with 44 persons affected and 30 deaths. These outbreaks occurred in twelve different counties in various parts of the state. Of the persons affected, 30 had eaten home-canned green chili; 2, hamburgers; 1, sardines; 2, home-canned green beans; 4, home-canned peaches, and 1, pimiento loaf, while for 4 the cause was not determined. Little has been written about the disease. Few textbooks devote more than half a page to it. The five volume work of von Pfaundler and Schlossman,1 edited by Peterman, includes less than one-half page.

The organism causing botulism is Clostridium botulinum, types A and B, an anaerobic organism which grows only in a nonacid medium. It is readily destroyed by heat, by a 3 per cent solution of phenol or by

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