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{{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}} Botulism {{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}} {{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}} (Latin, botulus, a sausage<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>) is a rare and potentially fatal illness caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The disease begins with weakness, trouble seeing, feeling tired, and trouble speaking. This may then be followed by weakness of the arms, chest muscles, and legs. The disease does not usually affect consciousness or cause a fever.<ref name=WHO2013/>

Botulism can occur in a few different ways. The bacterial spores that cause it are common in both soil and water. They produce botulinum toxin when exposed to low oxygen levels and certain temperatures. Foodborne botulism happens when food containing the toxin is eaten. Infant botulism happens when the bacteria develops in the intestines and releases toxin. Typically this only happens in children less than six months of age as after that protective mechanisms develop. Wound botulism is found most often among those who inject street drugs. In this situation spores enter a wound and, in the absence of oxygen, release toxin. It is not passed directly between people. The diagnosis is confirmed by finding the toxin or bacteria in the person in question.<ref name=WHO2013/>

Prevention is primarily by proper food preparation. The toxin, though not the organism, is destroyed by heating to more than {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} for longer than 5 minutes. Honey can contain the organism, and for this reason honey should not be fed to children of under 12 months. Treatment is with an antitoxin. In those who lose their ability to breathe on their own, mechanical ventilation, potentially for months may be required. Antibiotics may be used for wound botulism. Death occurs in 5 to 10% of people. Botulism can affect many other animals.<ref name=WHO2013>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Botulism sections
Intro  Signs and symptoms  Cause  Mechanism  Diagnosis  Prevention  Treatment  Prognosis  Epidemiology  Other species  See also  References  External links  

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