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October 1986

Infant Botulism: Three Cases in a Small Town

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Field Services (Epidemiology Program Office) (Drs Istre and Novotny) and Bacterial Diseases Center for Infectious Diseases (Enteric Diseases Branch) (Dr Hatheway), Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta; and the Communicable Disease Control Section, Colorado Department of Health, Denver (Mr Compton and Dr Hopkins). Drs Istre and Novotny were assigned to the Colorado Department of Health, Denver. Dr Istre is now with the Epidemiology Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma City. Dr Young is in private practice in Glenwood Springs, Colo.

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(10):1013-1014. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140240059027

• Through Dec 31, 1985, there have been six cases of infant botulism reported in Colorado. Three of these infants have lived in the same town of 800 people in western Colorado. Two of these three infants developed infant botulism within a six-month period in late 1981. The infants lived approximately 400 m apart; they had used the same crib at the time each developed botulism. A specimen from the crib yielded Clostridium botulinum, as did four soil samples from the town and house-dust samples from the home of a relative of the second infant. The third infant developed infant botulism in September 1984. This infant had not shared the crib. In this case, all seven samples of soil from various locations in the town yielded C botulinum, as did a sample of house dust from the home of this infant. The occurrence of these three cases in such a small town seems unlikely to be only coincidental. Investigations and reports of other such clusters may provide insight into modes of transmission of infant botulism.

(AJDC 1986;140:1013-1014)