Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum,. It produces a toxin that affects your nerves. 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 as well as it comes from eating food contaminated with the toxin,
- 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. It is caused by consuming the spores of the bacteria, usually from honey.
All types of botulism can be fatal and are considered medical emergencies.