1 dead, 23 sick in botulism outbreak linked to church potluck

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LANCASTER, Ohio (AP) — Health officials in Ohio say the number of people sickened from a suspected botulism outbreak after a church picnic has risen to 23, with one person dead.

Doctors and officials said at a news conference Wednesday that health workers are interviewing those who attended the Sunday potluck at Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Lancaster and searching the church’s trash to determine what might have caused the outbreak.

Fairfield Medical Center announced Tuesday that one woman had died of the suspected illness and at least 18 were sickened.

Dr. Andrew Murry with the Fairfield Medical Center says a botulism antitoxin was sent from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and distributed early Wednesday to the several central Ohio hospitals treating the 23 patients with suspected cases of botu.


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