Botulism Survivor Graduating from UC Davis, Describes Debilitating Illness

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DAVIS -- Karina Uroza had to put her academic career on hold for six months in 2016 after she was diagnosed with botulism.

She recovered, however, and is set to graduate from UC Davis this month.

Uroza became sick in February 2016. She suffered from blurred vision for several days before she was hospitalized and diagnosed.

"I was starting to lose my motion, like walking," she said.

Her doctor said they symptoms were rare, but recognized them from a case she treated 10 years earlier.

"I thought 'Oh, they're gonna give me an injection, and I'm gonna go home.' But they were like, 'Oh no, we're taking you to ICU because this is serious," she said.

After three weeks in the ICU and three more weeks of rehabilitation, she left school for half a year to recover.

With graduation looming, Uroza says she still feels some weakness in her joints.

Health officials weren't able to trace the source of her illness, but it happened before people were sickened by nacho cheese from a Walnut Grove gas station.

Symptoms of botulism include loss of muscle control, trouble speaking or swallowing and facial paralysis.