What is botulism and how dangerous it is for a person

Botulism and the risk of infection for humans

Who doesn’t love homemade jam? It is the pride of every housewife. This delicious foods that do not have «chemistry». Preparing the pickles on their own, the hostess is confident that will indulge your family in the winter vitamin products. Pickles, jams, marinades… But is it all that safe? Yes, if made by technology. No, if it is broken. In this case, you can expect a meeting with a very unpleasant bacterium botulism Clostridium botulinum.

A dangerous infection

What is botulism and how dangerous it is? Botulism can exist in two forms: the bacterium (in other words, coli or Clostridium), able to reproduce without oxygen. It is active, agile and reproduction secretes botulin toxin, which is the strongest poison.

In the form of spores, the bacterium is experiencing adverse conditions, e.g., the presence of oxygen. It is covered with a shell and can continue to be a long time in the environment, good shifting and frost, and heat.

Once in the anaerobic environment, begins to be active. In addition, it secretes a toxin in the process of development of the formed gases. In nature Bacillus is spread everywhere: it can be in the ground, sand, dust, river silt.

Due to the gases contaminated with botulism, banks may be swollen and contain air bubbles. During pasteurization, the bacteria are dying for half an hour, but the spores at a temperature of +100C die in a few hours. This is the difficulty of processing canned products.

Botulism is a disease that represents a severe toxic infection. The disease affects the nervous system and is progressing. Treatment is rather long, and without treatment death occurs. Where did botulism come from? You can become infected:

  • by poisoning stale food;
  • poorly washed and peeled mushrooms, vegetables, fruits;
  • the use of garlic or spices in vegetable oil;
  • using canned fish or fish cooked at home.

Bacteria-anaerobic bacteria often live in the soil. From the soil they can easily be on fruits and vegetables. And if the fruit or berries to wash out bad or poorly cooked, the bacteria is in the body, begins to develop, presenting to a person a serious danger.

Where to wait for trouble

Bacillus of botulism develops best in the absence of oxygen. It is therefore not surprising if it will be in the following products:

  1. Canned mushrooms, meat and vegetables. Dangerous fish, if it is sealed in the jars (again, an oxygen-free environment). Suspicious fish that is improperly stored or transported. Perhaps some time she was lying on the ground. Wrong opinion, that threat only river fish you can catch and sea.
  2. Meat or home smoked bacon and pickles. It is especially dangerous if these products are cooked in large chunks. The effects of salt air and exposed more often rather than the Central part of the product (on the cut of meat looks more bright). And the thicker the pathogen can grow.
  3. Products with your hands. Some people don’t like garden work and are happy to buy pickles and marinades on the market, considering what they made at home. This is so, but whether the mistress of sterilization conditions? Therefore, no one can guarantee the absence of bacteria in them.

Your product is no different from benign. He has a normal taste and color. On external signs to determine the risk impossible. If the jars were prepared for sale, it is likely that the main factor was the quantity and not the quality of the products.

Bacteria of botulism – coli and spores usually live in «companies»: in some vegetable an overabundance of them, but not in another. Or is he «hiding» in a certain area of the product. For example, several people ate the same dried fish. One got infected and others do not. So he caught a piece, where the bacteria botulism.

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How is the disease

The incubation period is short: botulism seen in a few hours, and can manifest in a week. If this period is short, the consequences of the disease can be very severe. So the body has got a large amount of botulinum toxin (botulinum). The cause of death in botulism – the rapid development of the disease.

Botulin is the toxin protein nature, one of the strongest poisons of organic nature, which are known to science. It causes severe toxic CNS and is found in humans, horses, birds, more rarely in cattle, fur-bearing animals.

The symptoms manifest themselves abruptly with severe nausea and vomiting, with possible abdominal pain similar to labor. On the second day there is a feeling of fullness in the abdomen, are constipation, or flatulence.

The manifestation of botulism is characterized by the following features:

  • weakness and lethargy;
  • pain and spasms in the abdomen;
  • hoarse and muffled voice;
  • violation of the functions of swallowing and breathing (which is respiratory failure often leads to death), respiration superficial, the patient experiences shortness of breath, pain in the chest;
  • disorder of salivation, there is a dry throat, excessive thirst, possible pain when swallowing;
  • temperature, as a rule, is not observed.

Causes the following symptoms – effects on cranial nerves. Neurological symptoms in botulism are manifested in the following way:

  • blurred vision: the split items, strabismus, or myopia; the eyelids may be omitted, the pupil almost does not react to light;
  • face more like a mask, as wrinkles are relaxed and smoothed, the face;
  • observed toxic syndrome: dizziness, headaches, sleep disorder.

Do not attempt to self-medicate and do not waste time. If you experience similar symptoms, immediately call an ambulance. The disease develops rapidly, and your life is under threat.

First aid

Maybe first aid in botulism in the home. Need to clear the digestive tract from the remnants of the toxin. It is necessary to conduct gastric lavage and to clean the bowel using enemas. For washing take:

  • A 5% solution of soda;
  • tannin;
  • pink solution of potassium permanganate.

Use thick tube, introducing it into the stomach, through it pour the solution. You can use just the soda solution (creating an alkaline environment). If preserved, canned or other product, which was used by the patient, leave it for the analysis of the presence of the pathogen.

If the sick person is unconscious, any manipulations with it do not hold, it can be dangerous.

To clean the intestines in two ways:

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  • use saline laxative and to wait for self defecation;
  • to do an enema with boiled water.

Cleansing of the stomach and intestines – this is the most effective and important assistance. The blood ceases to flow, the botulinum toxin and the patient feels much better.

If the patient’s condition deteriorated: disruptions in breathing or paralysis of the respiratory system, it is necessary to urgently carry out artificial ventilation and chest compressions. If there is a pulse but no breathing, then perform only the ventilation of the lungs, filling the lungs with air 1 every 5 seconds. Use the method of «mouth to mouth» or «mouth to nose».

Artificial heart massage is carried out 1:5 (PF – 5 pressure and so on). If there is breathing and pulse, then coped with the task and resuscitation is complete.

First aid in hospital

Methods of emergency care undertaken in hospital, associated with the correction of the cardiovascular and nervous disorders that arose during the development of the disease. At the same time carry out detoxification (removal of toxins) of the organism, restoration of motor activity.

To improve the condition of the patient is injected with the serum against botulism. This is a solution of immunoglobulins (antibodies produced by the immune system and protect the body from infection) of the blood of horses infected with botulinum toxin.

The drug can cause severe allergies. Initially, therefore, carried out a subcutaneous injection in the region of the bend of the elbow. If there is redness and puffiness, so test sensitivity is positive. In this case, the prescribed hormone prednisone, to reduce the risk of allergic reactions.

A vial of serum is diluted with 200 ml of sodium chloride solution and administered intravenously through a drip. The procedure is performed in the office, equipped with anti-shock equipment. The sooner treatment is started, the serum will be more effective. It will help bind the toxin that is circulating in the blood of the patient.

Treatment of this serious disease is carried out in the infectious ward of the hospital, although patients are not sources of infection and to anyone can not. Treatment starts in the ICU or intensive care unit (depends on the severity of the disease).

Recovery from illness

Recovering from botulism a long time (weeks and months). It continues until such time as blood is botulinum toxin. In case of untimely treatment or lack thereof is a big probability of death.

People who recover from botulism, saying that its consequences are difficult to predict, since the disease is associated with lesions of the Central nervous system. The disease can be cured completely if treatment is started immediately and correctly. Consequences can be:

  • paralysis and paresis of different nerves;
  • the slow recovery of muscle function;
  • complications on the heart, liver, kidneys.
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After an illness you need to arrange the correct, full, preferably diet.

Botulism today is not a common disease and therefore are diagnosed with it at the first signs is not always true. There is food and wound botulism, which is possible due to an infection in an open wound. Infant botulism is isolated as a separate disease because it often occurs in children and is much more complicated.

Preventive measures

Nobody will give you 100% guarantee that you can protect yourself from botulism. But take precautions will not be superfluous:

  • Thorough washing of any products, especially mushrooms, which are difficult to clean from dust and dirt.
  • Sterilization and processing of ware, which will preserve the products.
  • Sterilization conditions must be maintained, the rules are satisfied. For 20 min the bacteria are destroyed by boiling, but to destroy the spores in the home treatment almost impossible. Fish and meat can be sterilized only by using autoclave, where the temperature is higher than +100C.
  • Prevention involves salting and marinating, use a sufficient amount of salt and acid.
  • The use of metal caps is undesirable. In Bank they create the oxygen-free environment in which bacteria live. This is especially true of cans of mushrooms.

To keep the workpiece should be in dark areas at low temperatures (basements, cellars, storage rooms).

If the winter did you get the jar, the lid which is inflated («Bambina»), then it is advised to boil 10-15 mins to destroy the toxin. But it is better to destroy the Bank itself. For the prevention of child botulism, which is most common, it is important to control for child nutrition. It is not necessary to give children honey and products containing it.

This prevention of botulism. But do not forget that the bacterium and the toxin (especially disputes) tenacious, so when home canning full confidence that they are not in the products, will not.

There are examples of contamination due to insufficient length of the cooking potatoes or fish, baked in foil. If the dish you want to keep, then this is only possible in the refrigerator.

Botulism is a dangerous disease, which is not insured by any one person. You need to be attentive to his diet, and upon the slightest suspicion of poor quality product to abandon it. Important hygiene and use of fresh ingredients. The only way to increase the chances to «avoid» this terrible in all senses of the bacteria.