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Arizona Prisoners Taken To Hospital For Botulism From Prison-Made Alcohol

Four state prison inmates were hospitalized with suspected botulism poisoning Friday after apparently drinking homemade prison alcohol, authorities said.

Three were reported in stable condition Friday night. The condition of the fourth was not known late Friday.

All four inmates had been housed in the maximum-security Eyman complex in Florence.

“It’s not an airborne illness,” said Pinal County spokeswoman Heather Murphy. “It has to be ingested or injected. We cannot confirm it at this time, but we believe it to be contraband prisoner-made alcohol.”

Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a nerve toxin and is sometimes fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Left untreated, botulism can lead to generalized weakness, difficulty breathing and paralysis.

Murphy said the inmates would be treated with an anti-toxin that the CDC released to the state Department of Health Services.

“They will be treated very, very shortly,” Murphy said. “This proactive treatment can shorten the recovery time. We know with the release of the anti-toxin we stand a good chance of recovery.”

As bad as this sounds, it’s pretty common for prisoners to get sick behind their jailbird moonshine.

This is not the first time that prison inmates have been diagnosed with botulism following what is suspected to be an attempt at making homemade alcohol.

In 2011, 12 inmates at the Utah State Prison in Draper developed botulism after drinking a concoction made from fruit, potatoes, bread, water and sugar.

In 2004, four California inmates were hospitalized after contracting botulism from a two-gallon batch of prison-made alcohol.

Sad part is, we’re willing to bet that these dumbazzes make some more soon as they get out of the hospital.

Image via Shutterstock

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