Botulism is a serious case of poisoning that can lead to death if left untreated. It is not a typical food poisoning case. Hence, it comes from different sources, like food, water, soil, and open wounds. One can experience immediate botulism symptoms like trouble in breathing, inability to move, and worse is death.
Further, there are different types of this illness:
- Infant botulism
Poisoning is due to the bacteria that can produce toxins called Clostridium botulinum. It is a common type, but it can only live without oxygen. So, it is likely to stay alive inside canned goods when there is no source of oxygen. The signs can appear between six to ten hours. It can happen right after taking it inside the body. However, for babies, signs can appear 12 to 36 hours after eating food with the bacteria.
One must look after these early signs in babies:
- Weak cry
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of body control
- Inability to move
Also, there are botulism symptoms for food and wound poisoning.
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Unclear vision
- Face muscle weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Inability to move
Moreover, wound case affects the nerves that connect to the brain and the spinal cord. The bacteria quickly spread to the rest of the body within four days to 2 weeks’ time. Signs in wound poisoning take a longer time to come out. During the attack, a person is still awake.
2. Possible Causes
The toxin that comes from the bacteria is common in water and soil. Besides, it can have spores that can live inside poorly produced canned goods. Therefore, it can produce a lot of spores inside. Once eaten, it can cause serious food poisoning.
3. Several Types
To understand more of the type, here is information about each one.
Food poisoning is the most common type. Also, it comes from eating foods containing the bacteria.
Wound type can happen to a person when there is an open wound. The bacteria can enter through the wound and produce deadly substances.
Infant botulism only happens when a baby eats food that has the spores. For instance, honey and corn syrup are some. However, it can also love naturally in a baby’s stool.
The rarest type is the intestinal colonization in elders. Hence, it happens when the bacteria fill the stomach of a person.
Another case is latrogenic from overusing of botox. It is done inside clinics to take away wrinkles.
In case you or someone you know show signs, get quick help. Early treatment can decrease the chances of dying.
To find out about the illness, a doctor will ask several questions and do a physical test. Also, it is good to give them information about food intake. Furthermore, doctors will ask if others also eat the same food. Some may also ask about possible wounds.
In babies, doctors will also do a physical check-up. In addition, parents need to give a list of food intake. Aside from physical check-up, a doctor can take samples of blood and stools. However, the result may take a few days. So, doctors mostly do physical check up.
A doctor gives an anti poisoning drug as soon as possible. However, it is only for adults, but it is different for babies. For babies, a doctor gives botulism treatment directly to the blood, so the action is quick. It is important to give it quickly to save the life of the baby. It is because the effect of the poison on babies is more serious than in adults.
In serious cases, a patient uses a machine to help in breathing. The healing period may take weeks and even months. On the other hand, long term care is important in serious cases. Today, there are available vaccines for this illness. However, there are not many tests done for it, so effects are still to find out.
The good news is one can prevent it from happening. Hence, prevention is better than botulism treatment. One can decrease the chance of getting it. The following are some things that you can do to prevent it:
- If you want to preserve your food at home, make sure to follow the correct way. Also, there is a need to know the correct heat and acid levels.
- Be careful about eating food and drinking from unfamiliar places.
- Once you see damage canned good, then throw it away.
- Oils with added ingredients like garlic must be inside the fridge.
- Food cook and wrap is a good place for the bacteria to live. Keep it cold or hot.
- By heating food for about 10 minutes can kill the bacteria.