National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Botulism is not the name you expected.
Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic disease caused by a bacterial toxin usually produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. There are four generally recognized naturally-occurring types; foodborne, wound, infant, and, rarely, adult intestinal colonization. Iatrogenic and inhalational botulism may also occur. Foodborne botulism is caused by eating foods that contain botulinum toxin. Wound botulism occurs when C. botulinum spores germinate and produce toxin in a contaminated wound or abscess. The most common form of botulism in the United States, infant botulism, is caused when ingested C. botulinum spores colonize and subsequently produce toxin in the intestines of affected infants. In rare instances, C. botulinum intestinal colonization and toxin production have also occurred among adults with anatomical or functional bowel abnormalities. Additionally, botulism has infrequently occurred after intramuscular injection of botulinum toxin for treatment of certain dystonias and other disorders. Finally, inhalational botulism, though not naturally-occurring, was reported among three German laboratory workers who inadvertently inhaled aerosolized toxin, and could potentially occur after a deliberate aerosolization of toxin in a bioterrorism event.
Any case of foodborne or unexplained botulism is considered to be a public health emergency because of the potential for toxin-containing foods to injure others who eat them and because of the potential misuse of botulinum toxin as a biological weapon. State and local public health officials by law must be informed immediately whenever botulism is suspected in a human patient.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
NIAID Office of Communications and Government Relations
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Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Consumer Nutrition and Health Information
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Infant Botulism Treatment and Prevention Program
850 Marina Bay Parkway
Richmond, CA 94804
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
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Last Updated: 6/1/2012
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