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Count of botulism cases tied to Ohio church meal rises

LANCASTER (AP) — The numbers of confirmed and suspected cases of botulism tied to a central Ohio church potluck have risen as officials try to pinpoint the source of the illnesses.

An Ohio Department of Health spokesman tells The Columbus Dispatch another person has been diagnosed, bringing the total confirmed cases to 21. He says another suspected case also was reported this weekend, raising that count to 10.

A 55-year-old woman died after the April 19 potluck at Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Lancaster.

The health department has said six food samples retrieved from a garbage bag at the church tested positive for botulism. Four were potato salad; the others were macaroni and cheese and pasta salad. More testing was to be done to determine which food initially was contaminated.