Home Health news Woman, 23, in Colorado left paralyzed from the neck down and on a ventilator after eating ‘CANNED SOUP’ contaminated with deadly bacteria

Woman, 23, in Colorado left paralyzed from the neck down and on a ventilator after eating ‘CANNED SOUP’ contaminated with deadly bacteria

by Editor

A woman in Colorado has been left paralyzed and fighting for her life after fighting a deadly bacterial infection – which her friends think she got from canned soup. 

Snowboarder Claudia de Albuquerque Celada, 23, originally from Brazil, was on a work exchange program in Aspen when she started suffering dizziness, double vision, and trouble breathing.

Within 24 hours, all of the muscles in her body became paralyzed, leaving her on a ventilator. 

It would take two weeks for doctors to find the cause: botulism, an infection that attacks the body’s nerve tissue and affects just 100 Americans per year.

People familiar with Ms Albuquerque Celada’s case believe she got the illness after consuming contaminated soup that was likely improperly canned.  

Claudia de Albuquerque Celada, 23, originally from Brazil, was on a work exchange program in Colorado when she became infected with botulism

The disease, which affects about 100 Americans every year, left her paralyzed

Claudia de Albuquerque Celada, 23, originally from Brazil, was on a work exchange program in Colorado when she became infected with botulism. The disease, which affects about 100 Americans every year, left her paralyzed

Sources familar with Ms Albuquerque Celada's case said she became infected with botulism from canned soup that she got while bartering in the ski town of Aspen

Sources familar with Ms Albuquerque Celada’s case said she became infected with botulism from canned soup that she got while bartering in the ski town of Aspen

Botulism is caused by eating foods that have been contaminated with the bacteria C botulinum. These toxins attack the nervous system and can cause paralysis

It most commonly occurs in homemade canning, when the food is improperly preserved. In the past, botulism has been linked to foods like sardines, pesto, tomatoes and pickles.

The illness does not spread from person to person and there is no risk to the general population.

Ms Albuquerque Celada’s sister, Luisa Albuquerque, wrote on Instagram that her sister moved to Colorado in November for her ‘dream job,’ though it’s unclear what industry she worked in. 

About 15 days after purchasing the soup, Luisa said that her sister left work early as she started to feel ill. ‘She took a shower, had dinner and went to bed, but she had shortness of breath, blurred vision and dizziness,’ Luisa told Portugese outlet UOL

‘She sent a message to her friends to go to her apartment, but they only say it in the morning.’ 

‘When they arrived, my sister was already much worse, she could barely breathe on her own and she had facial paralysis.’ 

She also suffered weak muscles, arms, and legs. Some other very weak muscles, weak arms, weak legs. 

‘She went to the hospital and, soon after, she was 100 percent paralyzed,’ Luisa said. 

Ms Albuquerque Celada’s family was able to fly to Colorado within a week. She was diagnosed on March 1.

The family suspects Ms Albuquerque Celada will need six months to a year to recover from her illness. As of now, she is on a ventilator and will be transferred back to Brazil

The family suspects Ms Albuquerque Celada will need six months to a year to recover from her illness. As of now, she is on a ventilator and will be transferred back to Brazil

The family suspects Ms Albuquerque Celada will need six months to a year to recover from her illness. As of now, she is on a ventilator and will be transferred back to Brazil

Swedish Medical Center in Denver, where Ms Albuquerque Celada is hospitalized, has announced that it will cover costs for her to return to Brazil

Swedish Medical Center in Denver, where Ms Albuquerque Celada is hospitalized, has announced that it will cover costs for her to return to Brazil

Doralice Goes, a fellow botulism survivor from Brazil who says she is familiar with the case, said that Ms Albuquerque Celada contracted botulism from canned soup that she got from a market stall.

‘We know it was an industrialized soup,’ she wrote on Instagram. 

Ms Albuquerque Celada’s family has not confirmed which food it was, though they have stated that it was a foodborne infection. 

It’s unclear if Ms Goes personally knows the family and has spoken with them, though she has provided updates on the case and information about botulism, as she survived the condition herself last year. DailyMail.com has reached out to Ms Goes for further details. 

The Pitkin County Health Department, where Aspen is located, said last week that they believe Ms Albuquerque Celada’s case is an ‘isolated incident’.

Officials added that they ‘believe we have identified the exposure source and have determined that there is no risk to the public at this time.’ 

The agency also said that specifics cannot be shared ‘in order to protect the privacy of the case.’  

Colorado reported four cases of foodborne botulism in 2019, the latest data available.

DailyMail.com has reached out to the Pitkin County Health Department for comment.  

This would not be the first time canned soup has been infected with botulism. 

In 2021, the CDC reported a suspected case of botulism in Arizona. The Arizona Department of Health collected samples from the patient’s home, including an empty can of chicken rice with vegetables soup, according to a USDA case report. 

Tests found botulinum toxin type A in both the patient’s blood and the can. The soup reportedly had an abdormal odor when it was opened, but the can was not leaking or bulging.  

Ms Albuquerque Celada’s family said that she has been hospitalized for about 50 days, and recovery is expexted to last six months to a year. They have also been working to raise $200,000 to transport her back to Sao Paulo, where she is from. The family has exhausted their travel insurance.

‘We are in a country that is not ours, speaking another language, with people who are not part of our family,’ Luisa wrote on social media. 

‘We think that recovery close to family and friends is much faster. Comparing the costs between staying here and returning to Brazil, the return is still cheaper.’

Swedish Medical Center in Denver, where Ms Albuquerque Celada is hospitalized, has announced that it will cover costs for her to return to Brazil. 

Though fewer than five of every 100 people with botulism die, according to the CDC, it can cause lifelong disability and extreme physical therapy. Patients who are paralyzed need to relearn how to walk, talk, and perform everyday tasks again.

The CDC says that even after recovery, survivors may suffer fatigue and shortness of breath for years.  

Ms Goes, who said that Ms Albuquerque Celada’s case was tied to canned soup, was diagnosed with botulism last year and became paralyzed after eating pesto from a farmer’s market, which she believes was contaminated. 

Ms Goes remained in the hospital for about a year to recover from the paralysis. 

‘I had treatments every day of the week,’ she said last year, ‘from myofascial release to analgesia, laser, suction cup[s], pilates to recover muscular tone, strengthening and pulmonary physiotherapy.’

‘It is now part of my history, and I am to overcome the difficulties I now face.’

She now advocates for botulism awareness and better food safety standards. ‘We need to talk about it and make consumers, industry and hospitals aware that this disease exists today. More food safety rules need to be implemented,’ she wrote on Instagram. 

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