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Botulism - Definition


Botulism is a rare disease caused by the intoxication produced by the ingestion of the botulinum toxin, a kind of poison secreted by bacteria. This toxin blocks nerve transmission to the muscles and leads to respiratory and motor paralysis. The cause of botulism is mainly food, by consuming spoiled meats, or processed or canned foods that have been badly prepared. Symptoms appear quickly: abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, constipation, vomiting, and motor stiffness. Untreated, botulism is fatal. It is a disease whose declaration to local health services is mandatory.