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What is botulism?

Botulism is an acute toxic and infectious disease in which severe damage to the human nervous system occurs. The causative agent of botulism is in the intestine of animals, birds, fish, and from there it gets back to the soil and water. Bacteria of botulism, called anaerobes, live exclusively in places where there is no air, and therefore badly washed, uncleaned, hermetically packaged food is extremely dangerous.
The main danger of botulism is that the toxin blocks the respiratory function of a person, the lack of oxygen provokes the disruption of the work of all internal organs. Botulinum toxin is the most potent biological poison in the world, it is hundreds of thousands times more dangerous than poison, for example, rattlesnake. However, it quickly loses its harmful properties during heating and boiling.
The infected product does not differ in color, odor, taste from normal, so the disease is so dangerous. Most often botulism is transmitted through dried or smoked fish, sausages, which are improperly stored, canned food. Therefore, it is important to adhere to the rules of their storage.
How does botulism manifest? Signs of illness
The severe form of botulism leads to the death of a person, so it is important to know his signs in order to be able to receive timely help. The first symptoms of botulism may appear in a few hours, and 10 days after the use of poisonous food.
The symptoms of botulism include the following:
nausea;
vomiting
abdominal pain;
diarrhea;
visual impairment – the patient has a “grid” in front of his eyes, in the eyes of dual, difficult to read;
short-term increase in body temperature;
feeling thirsty;
dry mucous membranes;
it is difficult for a person to breathe, swallow;
severe headache;
dizziness, general weakness;
insomnia.
How to treat botulism?
Against the background of the difficult situation with botulism in Ukraine, which arose this summer, doctors recommend the first signs of food poisoning to seek medical assistance. Ideally, for the treatment of this disease in hospitals use special serums, which are injected intramuscularly within 1-4 days. Why is it ideal? Because in Ukraine for 3 years there is not enough of these serums. In fact, for the whole country their units, so it is better to take care of the prevention of the disease.
In addition, antibiotics are used for treatment, in the case of respiratory failure, artificial ventilation of the lungs is used.
Prevention of botulism
Prevention of this disease is key. In order not to be ill, you should eat high-quality food, buy it in proven places. In the summer it is better to give preference to shops in front of the bazaars, because the conditions of storage of products in the markets, especially spontaneous ones, are often far from normal.
Prophylactic measures include the strict observance of all rules of the technological process of preserving vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, and meat.
Caution should be given to canned food, in no case should they be used, if the lid is raised, blown, deformed, the product has a suspicious appearance.
Botulism is associated with an irresponsible attitude to what we eat. It’s time to take care of your safety, once again think about whether you need to eat this fish, canned food, or you need to save a couple of hryvnia in the bazaar, while at the same time risking their lives.

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