Botulism

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Modified on 2009/10/14 21:46 by admin
Botulism
Botulism is a rare, but very serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium. The botulinic toxin is a very powerful nerve toxin that acts by blocking nerve function and can lead to respiratory paralysis.

There are three main forms of botulism: food-borne botulism, infant botulism, and wound botulism. Food-borne botulism is caused by eating food contaminated with the toxin. Infant botulism is caused by ingesting the spores of the botulinum toxin, which grow in the intestines and release the toxin. Wound botulism, which is the rarest form, is caused by toxin produced by a wound infected with Clostridium botulinum.

All forms of botulism present medical emergencies, because they can cause death. Food-borne botulism can be very dangerous because it has the most potential to be a public health problem. Many people can become poisoned from one tainted food source.

In the United States there are around 110 cases of botulism reported every year. Food-borne botulism accounts for 25%, 72% are infant botulism, and 3% are caused by wound botulism. Most outbreaks of botulism are caused by eating home-canned foods that are contaminated with the toxin. Wound botulism caused by black tar heroin has increased in recent years.

Side effects from botulism begin anytime from 6 hours to 2 weeks after consuming the botulinum toxin. Symptoms can include dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, blurred vision, slurred speech, drooping eyelids, and muscle weakness all down the body. Botulism can cause respiratory and body paralysis, which can lead to death due to respiratory failure.

If you think you have been exposed to the botulinum bacteria you should seek medical attention immediately. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

Attorneys associated with InjuryBoard.com will evaluate your case free of charge. In addition, you will not pay any fees or costs unless your attorney recovers money for you. Please click on the free Ask An Attorney button to take advantage of this valuable service.



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