Symptoms of Botulism

The signs and symptoms of Botulism may vary, depending upon the type. In case of Infant Botulism and Food-borne Botulism, the symptoms normally make an appearance within 12 hours to 36 hours after the toxins enter the body. However, at times, the signs may become evident much earlier, or even later. In case of Wound Botulism, the symptoms take much longer to show up. Wound Botulism symptoms generally begin around 10 days after exposure to the bacteria.

Given below are some of the common symptoms of Infant Botulism:

  • Paralysis
  • Constipation
  • Weakened cry
  • Problems in feeding or sucking
  • Drooping of the eyelids
  • Irritability
  • Muscle weakness & inability to control the head, that leads to floppy head movement
  • Extreme tiredness or lethargy
  • Drooling
Given below are some of the common symptoms of Wound and Food-borne Botulism:

  • Paralysis
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Blurriness in vision
  • Troubling speaking
  • An inability to speak properly and slurring
  • Drooping of the eyelids
  • Weakness on both sides of the face
  • Abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting (only in case of Food-borne Botulism)
At times, Wound Botulism may be accompanied by fever. However, most patients do not experience elevated heartbeat rate, rise in blood pressure or confusion.  

It is absolutely essential to seek emergency medical assistance as soon as any of the signs and symptoms of Botulism become evident. This is because early treatment improves the chances of survival.