By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

New Mexico health officials report investigating a suspected case of wound botulism. The patient is currently hospitalized in Albuquerque.

Public domain photo/Psychonaught

This is the third suspected case of wound botulism of 2019– two previous confirmed cases led to patients being hospitalized in May and October.

All three cases reported injection drug use. Previous cases in the state have been linked primarily to black tar heroin use, and, in some cases, injecting methamphetamine.

Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Wound botulism is caused by toxin produced from a wound infected with Clostridium botulinum. Injecting illegal drugs under the skin where there is little or no oxygen available allows it to grow. Left untreated, it can lead to progressive muscle paralysis and death.