Diagnosis of Botulism

Most people are likely to consult their family doctors or a GP when they notice the signs of Botulism. However, doctors usually advise patients to visit the nearest hospital immediately, for an accurate diagnosis, followed by immediate treatment. A diagnosis of Botulism is usually conducted by a neurologist or a certified doctor, specializing in infectious diseases. Given below are the steps usually followed for a diagnosis of Botulism:

  • The doctor first checks for signs of paralysis or muscle weakness, which are usually evident through a weakened voice or drooping eyelids.
  • The examiner asks questions about the foods that have been consumed in the last few days.
  • The health care provider checks for any wounds and asks if any may have been incurred.
  • A blood test is then recommended to confirm the presence of the toxin.
If a baby is suffering from Infant Botulism, the doctor usually asks if the child has consumed any honey or corn syrup in the last few days. The parents will also be asked if the infant has been suffering from constipation or sluggishness. For a proper diagnosis, a stool or vomit sample is analyzed for toxins. However, it could be a few days before the test results are available and therefore, the clinical examination conducted by the doctor is regarded as the fastest and most effective way to diagnose Infant or Food-borne Botulism.