Safety

Possible ricin exposure patient treated at a Las Vegas hospital

Hospital Safety Insider, March 5, 2008

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A hospital in Las Vegas is treating a patient who may have been exposed to ricin, while at least one other medical center treated several people as a precaution after they were in the hotel where police discovered ricin vials.

Police told the Las Vegas Journal-Review that the discovery is not related to terrorism, though state health officials continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FBI on the case. Authorities found the vials last week.

Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans, but it can also be purified into deadlier forms through a technically difficult refining process, according to the CDC. Ricin poisoning can occur through inhalation, ingestion, and injection.



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