26 suspected of having botulism tied to Ohio potluck

Associated Press

Columbus, Ohio — The number of suspected cases of botulism tied to a church potluck has increased slightly as Ohio health officials work to test more than 20 samples of food to pinpoint the outbreak’s source.

The Ohio Department of Health said Friday that 26 people are suspected of having botulism after a potluck dinner last weekend at Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Lancaster. In another case, tests have confirmed that person has botulism.

One person has also died from suspected botulism. Fifty-five-year-old Kennetha Shaw, of Rushville, died Tuesday.

Health officials are testing 21 homemade and store-bought food samples, including canned pickles, potato salad and coleslaw, to determine the source.

A botulism antitoxin arrived this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to treat those who are ill.