As you learned in chapter 8, many types of fruits and vegetables can be fermented into alcoholic beverages. Such was the case recently when prisoners in Utah attempted to make an illegal beverage called “pruno”; however, someone added a weeks-old baked potato to the mix, letting a microbe into the party who was clearly uninvited. Consumers of the pruno began to develop difficulty swallowing, vomiting, double vision, and muscle weakness; and three required ventilation therapy. No deaths were attributed to the contaminated beverage.
a. What disease were the prisoners suffering from and what was the causative agent involved?
b. Based upon your knowledge of this disease, what form of treatment was used to successfully avoid the worst outcomes of the disease in these patients?