Foodborne Illness - Botulism
Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and sometimes by strains of Clostridium butyricum and Clostridium baratii. There are five main kinds of botulism. Foodborne botulism is caused by eating foods that contain the botulinum toxin. Wound botulism is caused by toxin produced from a wound infected with Clostridium botulinum. Infant botulism is caused by consuming the spores of the botulinum bacteria, which then grow in the intestines and release toxin. Adult intestinal toxemia botulism is a rare kind of botulism that occurs among adults by the same route as infant botulism. Lastly, iatrogenic botulism can occur from accidental overdose of botulinum toxin. All forms of botulism can be fatal and are considered medical emergencies. Foodborne botulism is a public health emergency because many people can be poisoned by eating a contaminated food.
How is Botulism Spread?
Foodborne botulism transmission happens when a person eats food contaminated with botulinum spores. The spores grow into bacteria and produce toxins in the food. Unlike infectious diseases, however, botulism transmission does not occur from one person to another. Other less common sources of spread have been reported, including minced garlic in oil, improperly handled baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil, and home canned or fermented fish. Symptoms of Botulism
Signs and symptoms of food-borne botulism typically begin between 12 and 36 hours after the toxin gets into your body. Signs and symptoms of food-borne and wound botulism include: difficulty swallowing or speaking, facial weakness on both sides of the face, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, trouble breathing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and paralysis. Certain signs and symptoms usually aren't present with botulism, including no elevation...