Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Botulism

Now that you're able to have some spinach again, you thought that it was safe to head back to the store. Forget that, dude. Now, my carrot juice obsession is going to take a significant hit because the US Food and Drug Administraton (FDA) has warned consumers to avoid carrot juice products from a certain California company due to a fourth case of botulism linked to this company.

Most people have heard of the word botulism, but really cannot describe what it is or what the symptoms are. I had to review this myself, because the only place I've seen this disease is in a textbook. As a public service announcement to you, the Doctor Anonymous reader, here are the symptoms of botulism along with a great link to the CDC with more information. Look out for those carrot juice drinkers!

The classic symptoms of botulism include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. Infants with botulism appear lethargic, feed poorly, are constipated, and have a weak cry and poor muscle tone. These are all symptoms of the muscle paralysis caused by the bacterial toxin. If untreated, these symptoms may progress to cause paralysis of the arms, legs, trunk and respiratory muscles. In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food, but they can occur as early as 6 hours or as late as 10 days.

9 comments:

NeoNurseChic said...

Don't it make ya wonder why people want to shoot themselves full of botox to get rid of wrinkles? I've actually had Botox 3 times to treat headache, and the first time, it did help a little bit! My brother loved to ask me to raise my eyebrows, and then he'd crack up when I'd say, "Am I doing it?" as my forehead would stay stiff straight even when I was trying to raise my eyebrows! I know that's off topic, but I couldn't resist... ;)

California ain't doin so well in the food department right now, are they? Is this town near where the spinach was coming from? Who out there isn't washing their hands??!! (Well at least as far as the Spinach is concerned....)

This story is why you don't give honey to babies (I think?) and other stuff like that!! Botulism...it lives in horse fields and canned goods.... Scary stuff!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness??? hey i think i have this! or maybe i am just blogged out for the day. think i'll get some rest and see if my symptoms go away......bee

wolfbaby said...

That sucks does it ever stop?

ladybug said...

you are right nurse carrie - NO Honey to children 2yrs old and under! ever!

oh i am going to dig out my micro notes.....LOL

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phaedrus said...

great. i happen to have some bolthouse 100% carrot juice sitting in my fridge right now. i WAS going to make a smoothy out of it. do i really care if my eyes droop and my speach slurrs?

Dr. A said...

Carrie, Didn't you have botox in your profile picture? j/k

Bee, I think you're fine. Would you like some spinach?

WB, I'm not sure how long the symptoms last. May want to ask carrot juice charlie.

LB (and Carrie), Thanks for reminding me about the honey and babies.

Phaedrus, Carrot juice smoothie. Hm. Interesting.

TheTundraPA said...

We have quite a lot of botulism in southwest Alaska. Before coming here, it was only a textbook subject to me. Now it is very real. Our hospital sees up to a dozen cases a year, usually from eating contaminated whale or walrus or seal, or ferminted foods such as "stinkheads". I wrote an extensive post about botulism on my blog back in May: http://tundramedicinedreams.blogspot.com/2006/05/eskimo-foods-and-botulism.html

We have very little infant botulism here (and no honey bees) and not much wound botulism. But plenty of what you can get from muktuk!

phaedrus said...

ok, so i decided to brave the botulism warning and still make the smoothie. wow. not a good idea. yuck.