Get Coronavirus Updates Now
NMDOH Logo
Home News Confirmed Case of Wound Botulism
Kenny Vigil
505-841-5871 Office
505-470-2290 Mobile

Confirmed Case of Wound Botulism


The New Mexico Department of Health is investigating a confirmed case of wound botulism in a 33-year-old woman from Rio Arriba County. The patient is a heroin user and the suspected source of infection is either a soiled skin injection site, contaminated injection devices or contaminated heroin. The woman is in the hospital.

Botulism is a rare, but potentially deadly illness caused by a nerve toxin that induces paralysis. Wound botulism is caused by the toxin produced from a wound infected with bacteria called Clostridium botulinum.

“We are asking healthcare providers to carefully consider wound botulism in patients who are showing symptoms, especially if they have a history of injection drug use,” said Secretary of Health Lynn Gallagher.  “People who inject drugs should be aware of the signs and symptoms associated with wound botulism and seek immediate medical attention if they begin to exhibit any symptoms.”

Signs and symptoms of botulism include:

  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle weakness/descending paralysis
  • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath

If left untreated, these symptoms may progress to cause paralysis of the respiratory muscles, arms, legs, and trunk with subsequent death.


Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Kenny Vigil at 505-841-5871 (Office) or 505-470-2290 (Mobile) with your questions.


Versión en Español

En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa sean más accesibles, también tenemos disponibles una versión en español. Por favor presione el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.

Caso Confirmado de Botulismo por Herida