There is a multistate outbreak of botulism-like condition

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Sketchy cosmetic injections of what seem to be counterfeit Botox are behind a multistate outbreak of botulism-like illnesses, state health officials report.
So far, at least six people have fallen ill in two states: four in Tennessee and two in Illinois.
Four of the six people required hospitalization for their condition (two in Tennessee and both cases in Illinois).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reportedly planning a nationwide alert to notify clinicians of the potentially counterfeit Botox and advise them to be on the lookout for botulism-like illnesses.
Tennessee reported that its four cases were linked to injections given in “non-medical settings such as homes or cosmetic spas.”
State officials said the injections were of Botox or a similar, possibly counterfeit product.
The early symptoms of botulism can include double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and difficulty breathing, Tennessee health officials noted.
“Illinois residents should exercise caution when considering cosmetic treatment,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Sameer Vohra said in a statement.


State health officials report that a multistate outbreak of illnesses resembling botulism is being caused by dubious cosmetic injections of what appear to be fake Botox.

Four individuals in Tennessee and two in Illinois are among the minimum number of people who have become ill thus far. Due to their conditions, four out of the six individuals (two in Tennessee and both cases in Illinois) needed to be hospitalized.

It is reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are preparing a national alert to inform physicians about the possible presence of fake Botox and to caution them about illnesses similar to botulism. The agency did not answer Ars’s request for information right away.

The purified, controlled amounts of the botulinum neurotoxin, which is produced by specific Clostridium bacterial species, particularly Clostridium botulinum, are found in the regulated pharmaceutical product known as Botox. By inhibiting the release of a neurotransmitter, the toxin causes muscle paralysis. Full paralysis, including paralysis of the breathing muscles, can result from exposure to the toxin through wound infections or inadvertent consumption of contaminated food. However, when well-regulated and authorized dosages are used and administered by qualified medical professionals, the toxin can also be used safely for cosmetic procedures to reduce wrinkles on the face.

It appears that none of those crucial requirements for use were satisfied in the cases that have been found thus far. Injections administered in “non-medical settings such as homes or cosmetic spas” were connected to Tennessee’s four reported cases, the state reported. “Products with unclear origin” were found to be injected by the investigators, and the information gathered thus far indicates that the products were fake.

While the two patients in Illinois were getting sicker, a LaSalle County nurse who was “performing work outside her authority” gave them injections. “Botox or a comparable, potentially fake product were injected, according to state officials.

According to Tennessee health officials, double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and difficulty breathing are some of the early symptoms of botulism. Following that, individuals may experience symmetric, descending muscle weakness that worsens over hours to days and necessitates hospitalization and antitoxin treatment.

Following their injections, the patients reportedly experienced similar symptoms, according to Illinois officials. These symptoms included fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, hoarseness of voice, and blurred or double vision.

In a statement, Sameer Vohra, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, advised residents to proceed cautiously when contemplating cosmetic procedures. Receiving these treatments in unapproved or unlicensed settings may seriously jeopardize the health of you or your loved ones. Please limit your search for cosmetic services to those provided by licensed experts who have received FDA approval for the products they use. In case you are facing health issues following a cosmetic procedure, please get in touch with your healthcare provider right away for support and guidance. “.

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