"Don't eat dirt! You're going to be sick!" Did your parents ever tell you this when you were young? You were probably one out of million curious kids that just wanted to see what dirt tasted like. But you're parents were right. Eating dirt is one way you can get a very serious food poisoning disease called botulism.
Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic disease. It is caused by botulinum toxin, a poison produced by certain bacteria in the clostridium genus. Botulinum toxin blocks motor nerves' ability to release acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that relays nerve signals to muscles, and paralysis occurs. As botulism continues to take place, the muscles that control the airway and breathing fail. (Julia Barrett, p.503)
Distinct descriptions of botulism can possibly go back as far as when the ancient Rome and Greece had once existed. The specific reason for botulism hadn't been discovered until a German physician, Justinius Kerner, concluded that a substance in spoiled sausages caused food poisoning in 1793. Then for awhile, the discovery of botulism remained quiet and the toxin's origin and identity remained elusive until Emile von Ermengem, a Belgian professor, isolated Clostridium botulinum in 1895 and identified it as a poison source. (Gale Group, p.2)
There are three main kinds of botulism. There is what is the most common one called the food-borne botulism where it is caused by eating foods that contain botulinum toxin. It often involves improperly processed home canned foods. Worldwide, food-borne botulism is the most commonly reported. These symptoms usually occur within 18-36 hours of eating contaminated food, with extremes of 4 hours to 8 days. Food-borne botulism can also result in blurred or double vision with enlarged pupils, anddifficulty of swallowing and speaking. You can also have constipation, nausea and vomiting. As with any other type of botulism, as it gets wor…

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