Botulism: what it is, what are its symptoms and how to prevent it

Although we believe that the food we eat is healthy, the reality is that many times it can cause poisonings. Botulism is one of the most serious, since it could be deadly.

It's about a type of poisoning that is produced because of a toxin that releases a bacterium -Clostridium botulinum- when you are in a place without oxygen, such as a canned food. The toxin is transmitted mainly through poorly processed foods or with a very low level of acidity.

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The> preserves that have been made without taking the necessary precautions or with food that we process, can or bottled at home in an inappropriate way. For example, spinach, mushrooms and beet are of low acidity and that increases the risk of poisoning if they are not processed well. Raw meats or fish that are conserved through improper salting or smoking processes may also present the toxin.

"Cases of foodborne botulism are frequently related to food Ready for consumption packaged with low oxygen", explains the WHO.

Botulism is not transmitted from person to person. The bacteria can enter the body through open wounds, by inhalation or by intestinal infection.

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Symptoms of botulism

Usually, symptoms begin to manifest between 12 and 36 hours after the intake of the product. They can include:

  • Intense fatigue
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Respiratory insufficiency
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty to swallow
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Abdominal inflammation

With any of these symptoms, it is important that you see the doctor as soon as possible. Botulism is rare, but it can be deadly.

Tips to prevent it

  • Do not buy food in cans that are dented or bruised.
  • Do not consume foods that are canned in a homemade way, poorly closed.
  • Do not consume sausages of doubtful origin.
  • Be careful with the hygiene of the foods that you keep in your house.

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Important: It should be clarified that Bioguía does not give medical advice or prescribe the use of techniques as a form of treatment for physical or mental problems without the advice of a doctor, either directly or indirectly. In the case of applying for this purpose some information of this site, Bioguía does not assume the responsibility of those acts. The intention of the site is only to offer information of a general nature to help in the search of development and personal growth.