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Nutritional botulism: causes and symptoms

Botulism is a serious toxic and infectious disease, which, it would seem, remained in the distant nineties, when we ourselves made stewed meat or received canned goods overdue on cards … However, no! From time to time, people come across botulism, so this article will be useful to everyone.

Key Facts About the Disease
Clostridium botulinum – this is the name of a bacterium that, under conditions of low oxygen content, produces dangerous toxins (the very same botulinum toxins).
Botulinum toxins are among the most powerful poisons known to date.
Botulinum toxins block nerve impulses and can lead to respiratory and muscle paralysis.
Human botulism can be attributed to food botulism, childhood botulism, wound botulism and botulism as a result of inhalation of spores or other types of intoxication.
Foodborne botulism caused by the consumption of foods that have not been properly processed is a rare but potentially fatal disease if it is not diagnosed in a timely manner and antitoxin treatment is given.
Home-preserved foods are one of the main sources of foodborne botulism, and special precautions must be taken when preparing them.

Symptoms of foodborne botulism
High intoxication: fatigue, weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, dry mouth, difficulty swallowing and speech.
Vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating.
As the disease progresses: weakness in the neck and arms, after which the respiratory muscles and muscles of the lower body are affected.
In this case, the temperature increase is not peculiar.
Loss of consciousness does not occur.
Symptoms appear after 12-36 hours: at least 4 hours, and a maximum – 8 days after infection.

Clinical symptoms in infants:
constipation;
loss of appetite;
weakness;
altered crying;
the child cannot hold his head (neck muscle weakness).
Known cases of botulism in babies associated with the use of honey. It is for this reason that the World Health Organization does not recommend giving this product to children under one year of age.
Which foods are dangerous?
The list of products that can cause botulism includes:

any canned food (meat, fish, mushrooms, pickles, jams, compotes);
smoked, salted or dried fish from fresh and slightly salted reservoirs;
vegetables, fruits, berries and mushrooms that are poorly washed from particles of the earth.
In addition, it is important to know that dangerous botulinum toxin does not affect the color, taste and smell of food. Also, I do not recommend using canned food with swollen lids, it is quite possible that the integrity of the package is already broken in them, which means that the risk of catching the disease increases. In general, before consuming canned foods (especially homemade ones), it is better to boil them for thirty minutes at 100 degrees: it is during this time that the botulism toxin decomposes.

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