Infectious Disease Specialist Explains Deadly Toxin, Ricin

7:46 PM, Apr 17, 2013   |    comments
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The White House and Capitol Hill remain on alert after initial tests Wednesday showed that suspicious letters to President Obama and a Republican senator contained ricin, a deadly toxin.

Infectious disease specialist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Dr. Christopher Ohl says it's rare to see this kind of poisoning in people.

"Ricin is a fairly potent toxin that actually comes from caster beans, so the caster bean is a fairly ubiquitous plant, in fact here in the southeast some people might even have them in their ornamental gardens," Dr. Ohl said. "To just get ricin in the mail in a granular, or powder form while it might sound horrible, because it's a potent toxin, probably isn't as high of a risk as people are thinking."   

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