Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Nine cases of wound botulism ID'd in injection drug users

(HealthDay)—Among persons who inject drugs, nine cases of wound botulism were identified in Southern California from September 2017 to April 2018, according to research published in the Jan. 4 issue of the U.S. Centers ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Botulism outbreak tied to nacho cheese kills 1, sickens 9

A botulism outbreak linked to contaminated nacho-cheese dip sold at a Northern California gas station has killed one man and left at least nine other people hospitalized, health officials said.

Medical research

Gene therapy for botulism

Gene therapy could be more effective than existing treatments for botulism, a rare paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin, according to an infectious disease researcher at Cummings School.

Health

Proper food preparation can prevent botulism

A recent deadly outbreak of botulism in Ohio underscores the necessity for proper home canning procedures and food preparation, a University of Georgia Extension food safety specialist said.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

US researchers withhold data in botulism study

American health researchers have discovered the first new strain of botulism in four decades, but decided to withhold publishing the genetic code because of bioterrorism concerns.

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Botulism

Botulism (Latin, botulus, "sausage") also known as botulinus intoxication is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by botulinum toxin which is metabolic waste produced under anaerobic conditions by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, and affecting a wide range of mammals, birds and fish.

The toxin enters the human body in one of three ways: by colonization of the digestive tract by the bacterium in children (infant botulism) or adults (adult intestinal toxemia), by ingestion of toxin from foods (foodborne botulism) or by contamination of a wound by the bacterium (wound botulism). Person to person transmission of botulism does not occur.

All forms lead to paralysis that typically starts with the muscles of the face and then spreads towards the limbs. In severe forms, it leads to paralysis of the breathing muscles and causes respiratory failure. In light of this life-threatening complication, all suspected cases of botulism are treated as medical emergencies, and public health officials are usually involved to prevent further cases from the same source.

Botulism can be prevented by killing the spores by pressure cooking or autoclaving at 121 °C (250 °F) for 3 minutes or providing conditions that prevent the spores from growing. The toxin itself is destroyed by normal cooking processes - that is, boiling for a few minutes. Additional precautions for infants include not feeding them honey.

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