Our Botulism Main Article provides a comprehensive look at the who, what, when and how of Botulism
Definition of Botulism
Botulism: An uncommon, but potentially very serious illness, a type of food poisoning, that produces paralysis of muscles via a nerve toxin called botulinum toxin ("botox") that is manufactured by bacteria named Clostridium botulinum.
There are various types of botulism, including:
The symptoms of botulism can range from mild, including transient nausea and vomiting, to severe cases that progress to heart and lung failure and, sometimes, death. Food-borne botulism occurs typically in unrefrigerated or poorly refrigerated foods and foods without preservatives (especially uncooked or half-cooked meats). It can be prevented by careful use of refrigeration and preservative techniques, and the toxin can be destroyed with heat.
Clostridium botulin and botulinum toxin might, it is feared, be misused as agents of bioterrorism.
Last Editorial Review: 10/30/2013
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