Clostridium Botulinum—Facts You Need to Know

Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum) are a kind of life-threatening bacteria.

How does it cause harm to health?

The bacteria live and grow in low oxygen conditions. When conditions for survival are poor, they form protective spores.  Thus, the dormant bacterium is able to survive for years. C. botulinum is responsible for a disease called botulism.

In general, symptoms of botulism poisoning include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Double vision
  • Dry skin, mouth and throat
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Slurred speech
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Paralysis

Infant botulism takes on a different form. Symptoms in an infant include

  • lethargy
  • poor appetite
  • constipation
  • drooling
  • drooping eyelids
  • a weak cry
  • paralysis

Treatment of Botulism

If found early, botulism can be treated with an antitoxin that blocks circulation of the toxin in the bloodstream. This prevents the patient’s case from worsening, but recovery still takes several weeks.

Though it can be treated, never take it lightly. If you or someone you know has symptoms of botulism, see your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.


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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.