What Are the Causes of Botulism?

Q:
What are the causes of botulism?

A:
Generally speaking, botulism is caused by a kind of bacteria called clostridium botulinum. The bacteria release a neurotoxin. It is a poison that attacks your nervous system.

The following are the specific causes of different types:

Infant botulism

Once consumed, the spores of the bacteria grow and multiply in babies’ intestinal tracts and make toxins. Usually, the source of infant botulism includes:

  • taking in honey
  • exposure to soil contaminated with the bacteria

Foodborne botulism

When you eat home-canned food containing the toxin, it disrupts your nerve function, causing paralysis.

Wound botulism

When C. botulinum bacteria get into a wound, they can multiply and produce toxin. In fact, this type of botulism is most common in people who inject black tar heroin.

Inhalation botulism

If someone breathes in the toxin, he gets infected. When some nations have tried to make biological weapons, the condition may occur.

Although botulism is not so common in our life, it brings great harm to your body. In serious conditions, it may cause paralysis and even death. So turn to your doctor once you or your family members have shown the symptoms.

 

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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.