Fake Botox that sickened 2 Illinoisans with botulism-like illness impacting other states – NBC Chicago

A new alert was issued Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration after at least 19 people were sickened by counterfeit Botox in at least nine states, including Illinois.

Last week, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported that two people in LaSalle County were hospitalized after experiencing symptoms similar to those associated with botulism following cosmetic injections performed by an unlicensed practitioner .

According to the release, the patients involved had symptoms similar to botulism, including blurred vision, face drooping, fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and a hoarse voice.

Products in Illinois were similar to cases affecting other states, according to a new alert from the FDA. The cases involved people who received counterfeit Botox, injected by authorized and unauthorized individuals, who purchased the injections from unauthorized sources.

In addition to the cases in Illinois, other cases have also been detected in Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee and Washington, according to NBC News.

Botox, made by AbbVie, has not been linked to any of these conditions.

Nine hospitalizations were reported, including the two cases in Illinois.

Officials say the two Illinois victims received injections from a registered nurse who was performing work “outside of her authority.”

According to the IDPH, injection of botulinum toxin, the main ingredient in Botox, can only be performed by specifically licensed professionals.

“Illinois residents should exercise caution when considering cosmetic treatment,” Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said in a statement. “Receiving these injections in unlicensed and unapproved settings may put you or your loved ones at serious risk of health problems.”

An alert has been issued for local health agencies in Illinois to be on the lookout for similar cases as the investigation continues.

Officials also provided links for consumers to check whether their doctor is licensed to perform cosmetic injections and to report any suspected wrongdoing to the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.

NBC Chicago

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