NMDOH investigates two wound botulism cases in state

Health News

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Department of Health announced they are investigating two suspected cases of wound botulism in the state. NMDOH says one case is in Rio Arriba County involving a 26-year-old woman and the second is a 40-year-old man from Bernalillo County.

NMDOH also reports that there now has been a total of four suspected cases of wound botulism in 2021. The two prior cases were reported in January, both from Eddy County. According to a news release, wound botulism cases in the state have been linked to injecting black tar heroin and methamphetamines. Wound botulism is rare, but caused by a toxin produced from an infected wound and could lead to muscle paralysis and death.

The NMDOH says if left untreated, initial symptoms may progress to include paralysis of the respiratory muscles, arms, legs, and trunk with subsequent death. They also encourage people to report suspected cases of wound botulism to NMDOH 24/7/365 at (505) 827-0006.

Signs and symptoms of botulism include:

  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle weakness/descending paralysis
  • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath

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