Botulism Symptoms and Types

Botulism is a paralytic sickness, though uncommon could lead to paralysis and other grave, mortal consequences. A bacterial form known as Clostridium botulinum present in soil is the offender that produces a nerve toxin that causes botulism.

With 7 identified botulism toxins, however merely toxin forms A, B, E and F are detrimental to human beings. Botulism is of 3 kinds typified variedly depending on the way of their exposure:

  • Food Derived Botulism
    This form of botulism is the consequence of consuming foods that have faced contamination due to the botulism toxin.
  • wound botulismWound Botulism
    This form of botulism is due to the botulism toxin which grows from contamination due to Clostridium botulinum arising from injuries or wounds.
  • infant botulismInfancy Botulism
    This form of botulism arises when children ingest Clostridium botulinum spores that emit toxins into the intestines.


By and large, there are merely 110 reported Botulism cases in the U.S. annually out of which seventy-two percent are infancy botulism, twenty-five percent are food derived and only three percent are wound derived.

Botulism Symptoms

The signs of food borne botulism generally arise in eighteen to thirty-six hours subsequent to consumption of foods that have faced contamination. The signs could arise as soon as 6 hours to as tardy as ten days after being exposed to the bacterial form with botulism symptoms varying from person to person. The prevalent Botulism Symptoms comprise of:

  • Dual or blurry eyesight.
  • Drooped eyelids.
  • Slurry speech.
  • Problems during ingestion.
  • Dryness in the mouth.
  • Muscular weakness.

Children having botulism could show the following botulism symptoms:

  • botulismLethargy.
  • Poor feeding.
  • Constipated.
  • Mild crying.
  • Floppiness in stance.

In case not treated, these signs could aggravate leading to paralysed arms, legs, torso and breathing muscles. The botulism signs could bear a resemblance to other kinds of ailments or issues.

Diagnosis &Tests

Taking into consideration the history and physical exam, the below mentioned diagnostic tests would be suggested for corroboration purposes due to the resemblance of botulism to other conditions.

  • CT or Computed tomography Scan
    This analytic method employs a blend of x-ray and computer expertise for rendering cross-section images of the body that offers comprehensive imagery of the required body part.
  • Spinal Tap
    Also known as lumbar puncture is a procedure that involves the removal of miniscule quantities of fluid for ascertaining the presence of infection or other issues.
  • EMG or electromyogram
    This testing procedure is the measurement of the electrical activity of a muscles or set of muscles for the purposes of diagnosing electrical muscle activity.
  • Serum or Faecal analysis Tests
    For examining the botulism toxin poisons.

Botulism Treatment

The doctor would take into account the kid’s age, general health condition and medical past, how grave the condition is and kid’s tolerance for particular medicines, treatments or methods.

Treatment comprises of:

  • Antitoxin treatment is generally employed for curing early detected wound botulism.
  • Removing of the fetid food from the gut via vomit induction or enemas.
  • Operative cure of injuries that have faced contamination for removal of the origin of the toxin in case of wound botulism.
  • Exhaustive medical and palliative tending inclusive of antibiotic course.

Recovering from botulism could prolong for several weeks on end with exhaustion and succinctness in breathing persisting for quite a few years.

Botulism Prevention

Majority of the food borne botulism are due to canning or preservation of foods done at home that have lesser amounts of acid like asparagus, beet, corn, green beans. Often some people can or preserve fruits or veggies that they prefer consuming in the later months. Such foods require cooking at intense heat for obliterating the germs.

Uncommon origins of food borne botulism comprise of minced garlic infused in oil, chilli peppers, tomatoes, improper handling of potatoes in aluminium foil via process of baking, canning and preservation done at home or fermentation of fish.

Ideally, garlic or other kinds of herbs preserved in oil need refrigeration. Kids below one year old must not be given honey as it could be the source of botulism.

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