Symptoms Of Botulism - Health Article

Symptoms Of Botulism

What is botulism?

Botulism is a poisoning by the toxin botulin which die especially waterfowl and fish. In the beginning, it has mainly been associated with muscle paralysis. There are seven different types of botulinum including three that are dangerous to humans.

The bacterium Clostridium botulinum (and the closely related C. argentinense), which causes botulism can only multiply rapidly under certain circumstances:

in a protein-rich oxygen environment (dead birds or fish, especially when they are in the water);
in water 20 degrees or warmer (especially shallow, stagnant water in the summer is quickly warm).
The bacterium occurs worldwide. The name comes from botulus (sausage), because the disease sometimes occurred after eating canned meat.

Not the bacterium itself caused the symptoms, but the toxin secreted by the bacterium (botulinum). This causes a blockage of the signal transmission of nerve to muscle.

 is a poisoning by the toxin botulin which die especially waterfowl and fish Symptoms of Botulism

Route of administration

The most common route of administration is via the gastro-intestinal tract, in the form of spoiled food. Poisonings occurred in the past mainly by eating contaminated meat and contaminated sausage (the name comes from botulus Latin for sausage), for example, could get in leak punctured tin making tracks in the can while still anaerobic conditions persisted.

Spoilage by Clostridium botulinum rise to any visible decay, the bacterium produces no gas or typical decay-odors.

Inhalation of this poison, a hypothetical route to biological warfare, it takes up about 15 minutes before the symptoms begin.

Botulism in small children and babies ("Infant botulism ') is caused by ingestion of the spores, which will grow in the gastrointestinal tract. In many cases, the patient dies. Especially babies because of their immature gastrointestinal tract susceptible. This type of botulism may be caused by infected honey. This is the reason why the giving of honey to infants is not recommended for up to 12 months.

Botulism symptoms

In a typical poisoning (from eating) can take several days to create the entire image. The first symptoms usually occur 10-20 hours after an infected meal. It may be a dry mouth, severe diarrhea and increasing flaccid paralysis. If the paralysis is severe death occurs ultimately by paralysis of the respiratory muscles.

Symptoms may occur after two hours to eight days after eating contaminated food. The disease begins with nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, dry mouth and stomach problems. After that experience symptoms such as double vision, blurred vision, poor tolerance of light, difficulty speaking, limp from the arm and leg muscles (flaccid paralysis) There is usually no fever. There may be difficulty breathing. Patients may die from the disease in a short time. There is no immunity against botulism. People disease may increase several times.

The lethal dose is about 200-300 picograms / kilogram body weight, which for an adult of 75 kilograms equates to 15 nanograms, or 0,015 micrograms, which is 0.000000015 grams. This means that a quantity of 100 grams is enough to kill the entire world. The toxin is produced by growing the bacterium.


Essential in the fight against botulism is the removal of dead animals. When a corpse is left is the water contaminated with botulinum. It is therefore important that the community is alerted as soon as possible the occurrence of dead birds and fish. The danger for people with botulism in ponds and ditches is incidentally not the botulinum (the bird-type is not very dangerous for humans), but infection by various bacteria in the rotting carcasses.

It has been found that most of the predators are able to consume the animals died of botulism. This is another indication of how important a food pyramid is where the niches are filled.

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