The following post was made on Facebook from Howard County Government:

HEALTH ALERT from the Howard County Health Department: An illness called botulism has recently been identified in Howard County. Botulism is a serious illness caused by a toxin that attacks the body’s nerves. Botulism can be caused by eating contaminated food or beverages. It is often associated with improperly home-canned, preserved or fermented foods. It IS NOT CONTAGIOUS.

A Health Department preliminary investigation identified the possible source as an acupuncture and herbal practice in Ellicott City. If food, teas or other products that can be put in/on the body were purchased, or otherwise received from this practice, located in the 3300 block of St. Johns Lane, it is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to discard it immediately. It may be put in the trash, or if it is liquid, dumped down the sink.

Botulism occurs when a person eats or drinks something contaminated with this toxic bacterium. The first symptoms may include nausea and vomiting. It might also include muscle weakness of the eyes, face, mouth and throat. This weakness may spread to the neck, arms, legs and torso, which can lead to difficulty breathing and even death. It is essential to seek emergency medical attention immediately for anyone displaying these symptoms.

For more information about botulism, visit the CDC‘s website at www.cdc.gov/botulism. If you have further questions and/or wish to speak to someone further regarding this matter, the Health Department can be reached by calling 410 313-1412, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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Interesting that more information about the business was not provided. A quick Google search did not reveal any acupuncture and herbal practices in that area…so if you have more information…let me know in the comments.

Scott E