What Is Botulism?
Botulism, also known as Botulinus intoxication, is defined as the serious paralytic illness caused by botulin (a nerve toxin)
Botulism often occurs due to the consumption of infected preserved food items like canned meat and vegetables. Botulin toxin can be destroyed by heating the food item up to 212 degrees F for a period of about 5 minutes. The food item is than allowed to cool and than it is again heated up to the mentioned temperature. This cycle is repeated for 2-3 times. The various symptoms of botulism are dry mouth, difficulty in swallowing, slurred speech, muscle weakness, double vision, progressive muscle weakness and severe diarrhea.
In United States, more than 110 cases of botulism are being reported every year. Botulism can be diagnosed through physical examinations, stool test, serum test, and bacterial isolation. Botulism can be fatal if not treated promptly. Botulism can be treated with antibiotic. However, ventilators may be required for patients with breathing difficulties.