3840 Botulism



Botulism is an illness that occurs when your child ingests food contaminated by bacteria which multiply in the stomach and produce toxins. Usually uncooked food is contaminated with bacteria.

Botulism is a paralytic illness caused by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, which is found in soil. There are three kinds of botulism

Food borne botulism: This type of botulism is caused by eating food contaminated with a botulism toxin. Food borne botulism can affect a great number of people who eat contaminated food.

Wound botulism: This type of botulism is caused by a botulism toxin that is produced from a wound that was contaminated with Clostridium botulinum.

Infant botulism: This type of botulism occurs when infants consume spores of Clostridium botulinum present in dust and dirt, which then release toxins in the intestines.

Signs and symptoms:

If botulism is a food-borne infection, it may progress rapidly and often begins with feelings of weakness and loss of muscle tone that spreads through the body. Children may have

• Blurred or double vision

• A dry mouth

• Drooping eyelids

• Slurred speech

• Difficulty swallowing and speaking

The toxin can cause paralysis of the trunk, arms, legs and respiratory system. In these food-borne infections, symptoms start soon after the contaminated food is eaten-typically within 12 to 48 hours.


The symptoms of botulism may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult with your physician for a diagnosis. However, since botulism resembles other diseases, other diagnostic testing may be necessary, including the following:

• Computed tomography scan (Also called a CT or CAT scan)

• Electromyogram (EMG)

• Spinal tap (Also called a lumbar puncture)

• Test for botulism toxin poisons in the patient's serum or stool.


Treatment will be decided by your physician depending on your child's age, medical history, and extent of the condition, your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies.


• Be careful while you offer honey to your kid. Make sure it's not wild honey as the instances of the presence of clostridium spores are more.

• Care should be taken while handling canned food. Pressure cook canned foods to reduce the risk

• Store safety is of utmost importance. Check the container of canned food for a bulge.

• Avoid exposure of potentially contaminated soil or dust.

• Make sure you wash your hands before you handle your child's food.


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