Diseases and Conditions
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Botulism is a rare but serious condition caused by toxins from bacteria called Clostridium botulinum.
Three common forms of botulism are:
- Foodborne botulism. The harmful bacteria thrive and produce the toxin in environments with little oxygen, such as in canned food.
- Wound botulism. If these bacteria get into a cut, they can cause a dangerous infection that produces the toxin.
- Infant botulism. This most common form of botulism begins after Clostridium botulinum bacterial spores grow in a baby's intestinal tract. It typically occurs between the ages of 2 months and 8 months.
All types of botulism can be fatal and are considered medical emergencies.