Botulism is an illness that, though rare, is extremely dangerous. When the bacterium Clostridium botulinum enters and infects the human body, it has a flaccid paralytic effect on the muscles. The victim will begin to experience inhibited vision, slurred speech, and difficulty swallowing. His or her muscles will start to weaken, and he or she will lose body control. When the breathing muscles are paralyzed, the victim may die.
Types of Botulism
There are three main types of botulism:
- Food-borne Botulism: One contracts food-borne botulism through the ingestion of food that has been contaminated with Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Typically, cases of food-borne botulism arise in people who have harvested and canned their own foods. However, food-borne botulism can also result from eating contaminated potatoes and garlic.
- Infant Botulism: Infants who ingest botulinum-contaminated honey and corn syrup may be at risk of developing botulism. If the bacteria remain in the intestines, they will multiply and excrete harmful, paralyzing toxins.
- Wound Botulism: When clostridium botulinum bacteria enter a wound, the victim can contract botulism. This can happen if contaminated soil enters the cut or laceration, or if the individual uses an infected needle to inject drugs into his or her body.
Unfortunately, it only takes very minute amounts of botulism-causing bacteria to create a dangerous infection in an individual.
If you or someone you love has contracted botulism as the result of a negligent food manufacturer’s actions, then you may have the right to claim damages. The New York City personal injury lawyers of Orlow, Orlow & Orlow, P.C. can help you explore your legal options.