How Do You Treat Botulism?


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Treatments for botulism depend upon the form of the condition and include taking certain antibiotics, undergoing antitoxin injections and breathing through a mechanical ventilator, according to Mayo Clinic. Surgery may be necessary if the condition occurs in a wound. Swallowing and speech rehabilitation may help to counter the effects of the disease. There are three types of botulism, including wound botulism, foodborne botulism and infant botulism

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Antibiotics help treat wound botulism; however, they cannot reverse other forms of the condition because they trigger Clostridium botulinum to produce more toxins, states Mayo Clinic. Antitoxins prevent toxins from damaging nerves in the body, reducing symptoms. Botulism immune globulin helps fight toxins in infants. Vomiting and taking certain medications to trigger passing of bowels help treat foodborne botulism.

In order to prevent botulism, infants less than 1 year old should not consume honey, explains Mayo Clinic. Avoiding street drugs and injections, boiling foods before eating, canning foods correctly and pressure cooking foods at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 100 minutes may help as well.

Symptoms of wound and foodborne botulism include facial weakness, blurred vision, speech problems and difficulty swallowing, according to Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of infant botulism include constipation, difficulty sucking, difficulty feeding, tiredness and weak cry. Trouble breathing, paralysis and drooping eyelids can occur in infants and adults.

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