At least 17 Mississippi inmates sickened by botulism after drinking prison alcohol

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reportedly investigating a botulism outbreak affecting 17 Mississippi inmates who became sick after drinking homemade alcohol.

Mississippi Department of Health spokeswoman Liz Sharlot told The Clarion-Ledger Monday that inmates at a federal prison in Yazoo City consumed the booze that was made at the prison.

Sharlot said the inmates began to show signs of botulism and were hospitalized in Jackson. Each inmate received an anti-toxin, she said.

According to the newspaper, 15 of the 17 inmates remained hospitalized Thursday. One inmate was transferred to a federal prison in Oklahoma City before he began to show signs of the virus. He was also hospitalized.

Sharlot said the inmates were hospitalized over the course of the week.

Botulism symptoms occur six hours to 10 days after ingestion. Symptoms include double vision, blurred vision, droopy eyes, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, muscle weakness and paralysis.

Contents of the drink were not immediately clear and it’s being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Sharlot said.

The Yazoo City facility is a minimum security prison housing more than 1,300 male inmates. It is currently on limited operations due to the outbreak.

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