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Summary: Botulism is a rare but potentially fatal infection caused by toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. The toxins produced by C. botulinum are the most powerful naturally occurring toxins known to science. They attack the nervous system (nerves, brain and spinal cord) and cause paralysis (muscle weakness). Left untreated, the paralysis will spread to the lungs, causing breathing failure followed by death.

The initial symptoms of botulism include nausea (feeling sick), vomiting and diarrhoea often followed by constipation. It usually takes 12 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food for more serious neurological symptoms (symptoms affecting the nervous system) to begin. These include double vision, droopy eyelids and slurred speech.

Botulism is a serious condition requiring immediate medical attention. Dial 999 to request an ambulance if you, or someone you know, have the symptoms of botulism.
Language: English
Format: Online Resource
Download / Order: View online
Publisher: the NHS website

Last updated: 14/11/2018