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Botulism

Disease Information

Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

There are three main kinds of botulism. Foodborne botulism is caused by eating foods that contain the botulism toxin. Wound botulism is caused by toxin produced from a wound infected with Clostridium botulinum. Infant botulism is caused by consuming the spores of Clostridium botulinum, which then grow in the intestines and release toxin. All forms of botulism can be fatal and are considered medical emergencies.


Disease Reporting

What is required?

Health Care Providers and Clinical Laboratories

Health care providers and clinical laboratories are required by law to report cases and suspect cases of botulism to local health departments immediately, day or night.

For Local Health Departments


See Also

CDC Factsheet 

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