What is Botulism

Botulism is a disease that is rare but very much dangerous which is caused by the Clostridium Botulism bacteria. It causes serious illness in the body of the patient. The bacteria can enter the body through some preserved food or may be some incurred wounds.

There are many symptoms of this disease. The symptoms are observed at about 8-36 hours after eating the contaminated food. One important thing to note is that there is no fever associated with this disease which is very rare to find as most of the diseases have fever as its symptoms. The symptoms are quite different for infants and for the adults.

As for the adults it is often found that among the symptoms there are abdominal cramps which can be irritating and painful. One can also have breathing problem which can be awful and can lead to respiratory failure as well. Even for speaking one can have lots of difficulty as the voice gets almost choked to a large extent. Swallowing food can be as difficult as it can be. So often externally food has to be injected into the body of the patient. The patients often find double vision. Nausea and vomiting is very much common symptom as well. Mouth gets extremely dry and there is dizziness as well. There can also be paralysis which is equal on both sides of the body associated with a permanent weakness.

For the babies the symptoms are not the same and constipation is one of the most common one. Respiratory distress is also very much common as well. The cry of babies often is too weak which is not at all normal. There is also poor feeding along with weak sucking ability. Weakness is also common along with loss of muscle tone.

For any health care provider it is essential that a few of the following test are performed in order to confirm that the individual is suffering from Botulism. First and foremost, there must be a physical exam where checking of a few signs like Eyes Drooping, decrease in deep tendon reflexes, Paralyzed Bowel and Speech Impairment. There can be sign of loss of feeling of muscle movement. Urine retention with loss of the power to urinate may also be the sign for the health care provider. He may also order for Stool culture or blood testing which often or not reveals whether any toxicity has occurred or not.

Improperly preserved food is the most common cause of Botulism and to prevent it there must be proper awareness among individuals so that the food is not contaminated at all. Home canned vegetables are also one of the most common causes so this aspect must also be noticed.