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Botulism

​Case definition

Confirmed case


Foodborne botulism

Laboratory confirmation of intoxication with symptoms:

  • detection of botulinum toxin in serum, stool, gastric aspirate or food OR
  • isolation of C. botulinum from stool or gastric aspirate

Wound botulism 

Laboratory confirmation of infection:

  • detection of botulinum toxin in serum OR
  • isolation of C. botulinum in a wound AND
  • presence of a freshly infected wound in the 2 weeks before symptoms and no evidence of consumption of food contaminated with C. botulinum.

Infant botulism

Laboratory confirmation with symptoms compatible with botulism in a person less than one year of age:

  • detection of botulinum toxin in stool or serum OR
  • isolation of C. botulinum from the patient’s stool, or at autopsy

Colonization botulism

Laboratory confirmation with symptoms compatible with botulism in a patient aged greater than or equal to 1 year with severely compromised gastrointestinal tract functioning (i.e. abnormal bowel) due to various diseases such as colitis, intestinal bypass procedures or in association with other conditions that may create local or widespread disruption in the normal intestinal flora.

  • detection of botulinum toxin in stool or serum OR
  • isolation of C. botulinum from the patient’s stool, or at autopsy

Probable case

Clinical illness in a person:

  • who is epidemiologically linked to a confirmed case of foodborne botulism OR
  • in whom there is epidemiologic evidence of exposure to a probable food source

Definition of clinical illness

Foodborne

Clinical illness is characterized by blurred vision, dry mouth and difficulty swallowing and speaking. Descending and symmetric paralysis may progress rapidly, often requiring respiratory support.

Wound

Clinical illness is characterized by diplopia, blurred vision, and bulbar weakness. Symmetric paralysis may progress rapidly.

Infant

Clinical illness in infants is characterized by constipation, loss of appetite, weakness, altered cry and loss of head control

SOURCE: Botulism ( )
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