The Signs & Symptoms of Botulism

Botulism is a rare but potentially deadly illness that is caused by the neurotoxin which is produced by the bacterium known as Clostridium botulinum. This illness is very serious, so if you have contracted it, then immediate medical attention is required. If you are worried about the risks this illness poses, you can help prevent more cases by taking part in a botulism vaccine clinical trial in DeLand, FL.

While this illness is rare, there are actually five primary types of botulism:

  • Foodborne Botulism: An illness that originated after ingesting food containing the toxin is foodborne botulism (this represents a public health emergency if sources of popular food items have been contaminated).
  • Wound Botulism: Some wounds can be infected by this bacterium which will cause wound botulism.
  • Infant Botulism: Some infants end up consuming spores of the bacterium, which can release toxins in the intestines.
  • Adult Intestinal Toxemia Botulism: This is one of the rarest forms of botulism, but its path of origin is very similar to that of infant botulism.
  • Iatrogenic Botulism: This illness is the result of an accidental overdose of botulinum toxin.

Symptoms Associated with Foodborne Botulism

After the toxin has entered the patient’s body, the symptoms of foodborne botulism can begin to manifest anywhere within the next few hours to several days later. It really depends on the level of toxin that is ingested. The following could indicate foodborne botulism:

  • Dry mouth
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Trouble speaking or swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weakness in the muscles of the face
  • Blurred vision or seeing double
  • Abdominal cramping, nausea, and vomiting
  • Paralysis

Wound Botulism

Most cases of wound botulism are diagnosed in people who regularly inject drugs, making it difficult to determine the length of time required before the symptoms of this illness become noticeable after the toxin has entered the body. In particular, this is an illness that has a high rate of incidence amongst users of black tar heroine. The following could all be indications of wound botulism:

  • Blurred vision or seeing double
  • Weakness in the muscles of the face
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Trouble speaking or swallowing
  • Paralysis

Infant Botulism

A number of infant botulism outbreaks have been tied to contaminated sources of honey. If enough toxin is ingested through the honey, then the symptoms of infant botulism could manifest within a day or two. The following could all be indications of infant botulism:

  • The first sign of this illness if usually constipation
  • Muscle weakness will lead to limp movements or inability to control the head
  • Drooling
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Issues with feeding or nursing
  • Weak cry
  • Paralysis

Seeking Medical Attention

If you believe that you or a loved one has botulism, then you need to seek emergency medical attention immediately. The earlier that antitoxins or other treatments can be applied, the better the final outcome. Local health care authorities will also be alerted that much faster that there is a risk for a potential outbreak. This could help save a lot more people from this illness. At this time, we are still working to develop a viable vaccine in ongoing clinical trials.

Clinical Trial Indications