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Diseases » Botulism » Summary

What is Botulism?

Name of Botulism

Main name of condition: Botulism

How many people get Botulism?

Prevalance of Botulism: In the United States an average of 110 cases of botulism are reported each year. Of these, approximately 25% are foodborne, 72% are infant botulism, and the rest are wound botulism. Outbreaks of foodborne botulism involving two or more persons occur most years and usually caused by eating contaminated home-canned foods. The number of cases of foodborne and infant botulism has changed little in recent years, but wound botulism has increased because of the use of black-tar heroin, especially in California. (Source: excerpt from Botulism General: DBMD) ... In 1999, 174 cases of botulism were reported to the CDC. Of these, 26 were foodborne, 107 were infant botulism, and 41 were cases of wound botulism. (Source: excerpt from Botulism: DBMD)

How serious is Botulism?

Prognosis of Botulism: Death can result from respiratory failure. About 5% die. Recovery takes months. Those who survive may have fatigue and shortness of breath for years. (Source: excerpt from Botulism: DBMD)
Complications of Botulism: see complications of Botulism

What causes Botulism?

Causes of Botulism: A potent neurotoxin produced from Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium. (Source: excerpt from Botulism: DBMD) ... Foodborne botulism follows ingestion of toxin produced in food by C. botulinum. The most frequent source is home-canned foods, prepared in an unsafe manner. (Source: excerpt from Botulism: DBMD)
Causes of Botulism: see causes of Botulism

What are the symptoms of Botulism?

Incubation period for Botulism: In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food, but they can occur as early as 6 hours or as late as 10 days. (Source: excerpt from Botulism General: DBMD)

Can anyone else get Botulism?

More information: see contagiousness of Botulism

How is it treated?

Treatments for Botulism: see treatments for Botulism
Prevention of Botulism: see prevention of Botulism


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