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This potentially fatal disease is usually caused by exposure to botulism neurotoxin, which is one of the most lethal substances known to man. It can be contracted from food or from a wound infected by the said bacteria. This disease can lead to flaccid paralysis of the body’s muscles. The symptoms include cramps in various parts of the body, choking, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, as well as swallowing difficulties.
HOW IS BOTULISM DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis is based on clinical history and clinical examination. The presence of botulinum toxin in serum, stool or food, or a culture of Clostridium botulinum from stool, wound or food confirms the diagnosis.
HOW IS BOTULISM TREATED?
The following treatments are used to treat botulism:
1. Medicine called botulinus antitoxin to fight the toxin
2. Hospitalization, if breathing trouble is seen to give breathing support
3. Antibiotics may not always help
4. Homeopathic medications are also used
DID YOU KNOW?
Good practice in food preparation, particularly preservation and hygiene, prevents botulism.