Although outbreaks of botulism have previously been reported, little appears about this disease in recent medical literature. An epidemiologic survey of reported cases in the last twenty-two years shows that this disease is far more common in the western United States, particularly along the Pacific coast, and is therefore considered more or less a rarity in the Atlantic coast states. However, it is true that many cases of botulism may have gone unrecognized, probably because of a confusion in diagnosis between this disease and encephalitis, acute poliomyelitis, toxic ophthalmoplegia, and various types of food poisoning.
Because of the extremely high mortality of cases that have occurred in this country, in all probability because botulism had been unsuspected, each individual outbreak merits attention on the basis of presenting new material in the further knowledge and investigation of this disease.
The outbreak described here occurred in Bernardsville, N. J., March 2, 1935,