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    HomeHealthTwo hospitalized for botulism in Illinois after cosmetic procedures

    Two hospitalized for botulism in Illinois after cosmetic procedures

    The Illinois Department of Public Health has issued a warning after two people were hospitalized with botulism-like symptoms following cosmetic treatments. 

    Both patients had received injections of Botox, or a similar counterfeit product, from a licensed nurse in LaSalle County who was performing work outside of her authority, according to a news release from IDPH. 

    The patients reported symptoms similar to botulism: Blurred/double vision, droopy face, fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and hoarse voice. Similar cases were also reported by the Tennessee Department of Health, and IDPH is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration on the investigation. 

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    Illinois residents warned about cosmetic treatments

    “Illinois residents should exercise caution when considering cosmetic treatment,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “Receiving these treatments in unlicensed, unapproved settings can put you or your loved ones at serious risk for health problems. Please only seek cosmetic services under the care of licensed professionals trained to do these procedures and who use FDA approved products. If you are experiencing any health problems after a recent cosmetic treatment, please contact your healthcare provider immediately for help and assistance.” 

    What is Botox? Is it harmful?

    The key ingredient in Botox is botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin and one of the most poisonous biological substances known, according to the National Institutes of Health. Used in small doses, it can be helpful in treating certain medical conditions and has become a popular cosmetic procedure for smoothing wrinkles on the face. Botox injections work by weakening or paralyzing certain muscles or by blocking certain nerves.  

    In Illinois, the injection of botulinum toxin may only be performed by certain licensed professionals. Consumers can check if a professional is licensed by using the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation’s license lookup tool

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