What is botulism?

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Botulism is a serious form of food poisoning. It develops if an individual consumed food that includes the poison produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Remember that this condition can be deadly. The poison generated by the bacteria can impair the viral nerves in the body and cause paralysis. If not promptly treated, it can cause difficulty breathing and result to death.

What is the cause?

The condition develops once the poison released by Clostridium botulinum bacteria is ingested. It is likely to occur when eating food that was not canned or preserved properly.

Botulism can also form in wounds, but this is considered uncommon. This occurs once the bacteria flourishes in a wound and generates poison.

Infants less than 1 year old might end up with the condition from honey. Around 10% of all honey includes the bacteria. Once a child eats honey, it can thrive in the gut.

The usual signs of botulism manifest around 18-36 hours after ingesting contaminated food.

What are the indications?

The usual signs of botulism manifest around 18-36 hours after ingesting contaminated food. In some instances, it might arise several days after.

The common signs include:

  • Drooping eyelids
  • Visual issues especially double vision and difficulty focusing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscular weakness
  • Difficulty speaking

How is botulism managed?

Hospitalization is required when managing botulism. In most cases, the condition requires close monitoring. Since the nerves of the breathing muscles might be affected, it is vital to check the breathing.

Once the breathing muscles cease to function, a ventilator is used. The device will assist the individual with breathing until the poison is eliminated from the body, usually taking days to weeks. Additionally, the doctor might provide the individual with an antitoxin medication that will counteract the poison.

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