An adult from Bethel might have contracted botulism from a "Native Salad" that they bought at the Cama-i Dance Festival last weekend. While the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation suspects that this is a botulism case, the diagnosis is still unconfirmed.
The Alaska Section of Epidemiology heard about the suspected case on Wednesday. In a press release this afternoon, YKHC said that they have sent a sample of the salad to a testing facility in Anchorage. They will know if the salad tests positive for the botulism toxin in about a week.
In the meantime, the health care provider advises those who ate some of the dish to watch for signs of botulism. Symptoms typically start to appear one to three days after people eat food that contains the toxin. They include a dry mouth, blurred or double vision, difficulty swallowing, drooping eyelids, dilated pupils, voice changes, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
Botulism can be a life threatening illness. If you have any of these symptoms, YKHC advises going to your local emergency room or calling your clinic immediately.