Ricin found in
Las Vegas motel, man in critical condition
The deadly toxin "ricin"
discovered in Las Vegas motel, sends man in critical condition.
deadly toxin believed to be "ricin" was discovered in a motel
room at the Extended Stay America Motel in Las Vegas, it was
reported today. A friend of the man who stayed at the room
brought the substance to the motel manager, saying he found the
substance in his room. Three motel employees and another person,
were quarantined and decontaminated, then taken to hospital.
Some news agencies report that total of seven people have been
taken to local hospitals for treatment, though they were
released when they showed no signs of exposure.
The man renting the room, whose identity
is being withheld due to the investigation, was hospitalized in
critical condition with symptoms consistent with exposure to the
deadly toxin, Las Vegas police said later today. The man renting
the Las Vegas motel room was admitted in the hospital on
February 14th with respiratory distress, but did not tell to the
doctors that he may have been exposed to ricin. The person who
found the toxic substance was a friend of the man renting the
room and went to pick up his belonging, found the ricin and
alerting the management. The authorities believe that the ricin
case is not related to terrorism.
The protein "ricin" is a toxin
extracted from the castor bean and is highly lethal and can be
fatal if inhaled, ingested, or injected. A dose as small as
pin-head could kill an adult and even if survived, long term
organ damage is likely. Ricin is 6,000 times more toxic than
cyanide and 12,000 times more poisonous than rattlesnake venom
by weight. There is no known antidote to the toxin, although the
military had developed a vaccine in case of ricin being used as
biological weapon against U.S. troops. The castor beans
from which the ricin is extracted are widely used to produce
castor oil for use in the food industry, medicine and in