Botulism is an acute infectious disease that is currently rarely seen. It is caused by the ingestion of botulinum toxin into the human body due to the consumption of various foods, in particular canned foods. This condition is characterized by severe damage to the vegetative and central nervous system. In the absence of timely treatment, botulism can lead to paralysis and death.
Botulism: Main Symptoms
There are food botulism and wound botulism, which occurs due to infections in the open wound. Separately consider infant botulism, which is most often observed in children younger than 6 months. Usually, symptoms of the disease can appear within a few hours or even 5-7 days after consuming low-quality food.
The first signs of the disease are primarily nausea, vomiting, constipation, spastic abdominal pain. In addition, there may be respiratory signs of botulism, manifested in shortness of breath, difficulty in swallowing and talking. One of the symptoms of the disease is muscle weakness, and in any part of the body. Children lose their ability to control head movement. Sometimes the eyelids fall, the facial muscles weaken, the clarity and intelligibility of speech is lost, dry mouth begins. Drowsiness may occur.
Adults may complain of blurred vision. If botulism progresses, paralysis of the limbs and respiratory muscles can become its symptoms. A person gradually loses the ability to move and breathe independently. Such symptoms require immediate medical attention.
Botulinum toxin is most susceptible to children, so they should not be given home-preserved foods without exposing them to preliminary heat treatment. Do not give the child honey and any other honey-containing products until a certain age.
As for the general prevention of botulism, it consists in the proper processing and cooking of food:-
- Since home canned food is a frequent source of contamination, it is necessary to carry out thorough sterilization of cans and blanks at a temperature of at least 120 degrees for 30 minutes;
- Some infections occur due to improperly baked in foil potatoes, meat or fish on an open fire;
- It is not recommended to preserve meat, fish, mushrooms and greens at home;
- For canning it is best to use only fresh vegetables and fruits. Never harvest spoiled fruit;
- Wash vegetables, berries and fruits thoroughly. If their surface is heavily polluted with earth, use a brush when washing;
- Store homemade canned foods at low temperatures;
- Be sure to throw away canned food with a convex bottom, with swollen lids and with a suspicious odor;
- Do not purchase canned foods from the store with a bloated lid;
- Never buy canned homemade products in the markets (from hands). It is not known how the canned food was cooked.
Treatment of botulism, like many other poisonings, begins with gastric lavage. First aid can be given as follows. Make an enema with 5% soda solution, give a laxative (magnesium sulphate 30 g per 500 ml of water), to bind toxins the patient needs to drink any vegetable oil. In addition, be sure to take some absorbent (for example, activated carbon). Your first aid task is to try to remove the source of infection from the digestive tract.
With regard to drug treatment of botulism, it can be prescribed only by a doctor after an examination. Often, at the first symptoms, antitoxins are prescribed. Equine toxin is very effective. For the treatment of infant botulism, immunoglobulin doses are administered intravenously to children.
In some cases, botulism can be treated surgically. This concerns, as a rule, the wound variety, when for successful treatment it is possible to promptly remove infected tissue.
Regardless of the form of botulism, hospitalization is necessary. This is especially true for patients with severe disease who may die of respiratory failure. Such patients will definitely need the help of a ventilator. Until the muscle paralysis passes and the patient begins to move independently, he is prescribed probe feeding, intravenous fluids, and careful monitoring for several weeks (sometimes months).
Botulism is one of the most severe and acute toxicoinfections. It affects the central and vegetative nervous system, with the appearance of paresis and paralysis of striated and smooth muscles. This disease occurs when eating foods containing botulism toxins. Vegetable, fish, meat, and also mn. Other canned food that you make at home is often very dangerous for health. To protect yourself and your loved ones from botulism, it is recommended that you carefully sterilize home-made products.