What Causes Infant Botulism?

Q:
What causes infant botulism?

A:
When botulism infects a baby, the condition can be frightening. Although very rare, it can cause muscle weakness and breathing problems.

A baby gets infant botulism by swallowing the botulism spores. Because their large intestine is vulnerable, spore can multiply and produce toxin quickly.

The source of botulinum is usually honey. Sometimes honey can be contaminated by the spores of botulinum bacteria in dirt and dust.

However, these bacteria are harmless to older kids and adults because their digestive systems are mature. So they can remove the spores before any harm occurs.

Though infant botulism can be treated, it’s important to get medical care as soon as possible. Call your doctor right away if you see any of the warning signs in your baby.

 

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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.