Botulism Disease: 6 Month Old Baby Passed Away after Feeding Him Honey

We all know that consuming honey is one of the healthiest foods with numerous benefits, but not same effect to babies. Shockingly, 6 months old passed away after family feeds him honey. In the findings, it was highlighted the dangers of botulism in babies.

Botulism in Babies: Rare case but potentially fatal illness

According to The Japan Times, a six-month-old boy in Adachi Ward, Tokyo, died of infant botulism after his family fed him honey.

Without any knowledge, family of a baby which is only 6 months old feeding him honey that being mix with juice. This is how the botulism occurs and cause of the baby’s death.

A member of the family was mentioned as saying, “We were mixing the honey into store-bought juice and feeding it to our baby because we thought it was good for his body.”

Beside they had been giving him honey mixed in juice twice a day for about a month.

Then the baby had to be rushed to hospital after going into convulsions and suffering respiratory failure. As per the tests result and found out that he had ingested honey contaminated with toxin-producing bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum, a clear case of botulism poisoning.

It was the first death caused by infant botulism in Japan since 1986. Sadly, the little one died a month later.

What Is Botulism in Babies?

Botulism is a serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The disease may occur after eating foods containing the toxin or due to development of the bacteria within the intestine of young children that produce a toxin inside the body or within wounds.

Also, It is caused by exposure to Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum) spores. Bacteria from the spores can grow and multiply in a baby's intestines, producing a dangerous toxin.

Mostly, the illness can occur in infants up to 12 months of age, because young babies have immature digestive systems.

Ways to catch botulism

Botulism spores are widespread in the environment and can be found in dust, soil, untreated water and the digestive tracts of animals and fish. Foods that have led to botulism outbreaks have included the following: meat products, such as sausage and cured ham; canned, vacuum-packed, smoked or fermented fish products; vegetables preserved by canning or stored in oil; baked potatoes; honey; and cheese. Many outbreaks have occurred due to home-preserved foods. Intestinal or infant botulism usually takes place after swallowing botulinum spores, sometimes from food, which then produce toxins in the gut. Wound botulism usually happens from inoculating botulinum spores which then grow in the inoculation wound and produce toxins.

Signs and Symptoms of Botulism in Babies

Babies with botulism may have constipation, lethargy, feeding difficulties, floppy muscles, increased drooling and a weak cry. Symptoms of botulism begin between three to 30 days after an infant ingests the spores.

Botulism causes paralysis by affecting the nerves which allow the brain to stimulate muscles and part of the central nervous system. It initially affects the nerves in the skull and may cause blurred vision, difficulty swallowing, double vision, stammering or stuttering, vocal disturbance, drooping eyelids, facial weakness and weakness of the tongue. Weakness in the neck and arms follows, after which the respiratory and lower body muscles are affected. Respiratory problems may be severe enough to need ventilation in hospital. Other symptoms may include dry mouth, urinary problems and dysfunction of the stomach, intestines, heart and blood vessels. Patients do not usually have a fever, and have no loss of sensory functions or awareness. Botulism caught from food usually affects the stomach and intestines, causing nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps. Botulism in a wound causes inflammation around the wound, followed by low blood pressure and circulatory collapse. Patients with wound botulism often look and feel quite well before deteriorating dramatically over a few hours.

However baby’s botulism can be treated, it is important to get medical care as soon as possible. Take your baby to the doctor right away if you spot any of these warning signs mentioned above.

How to avoid getting botulism

One important way to reduce the risk of botulism in babies is to not give infants honey or any processed food containing honey before they will reach 1 year old. Honey is a proven source of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. These bacteria are harmless to older kids and adults because their digestive systems are more mature.

There is no routine vaccination against botulism. Care should be taken when canning food, either commercially or at home, and when preserving fish, meat and vegetables to make sure botulinum is destroyed before storage. Do not eat food from containers that are obviously bulging (which could be caused by gas from the botulinum) or containers that are damaged. Avoid tasting food that might be spoiled. Keep food that has not been completely processed in the fridge. Boiling food for ten minutes before eating it would inactivate the toxin in home-canned foods. Potential botulism cases should get urgent medical response and investigation. Prevention work with intravenous drug users is also important.

Source: The Asian Parent
Botulism Disease: 6 Month Old Baby Passed Away after Feeding Him Honey Botulism Disease: 6 Month Old Baby Passed Away after Feeding Him Honey Reviewed by Admiin Artikulo on June 23, 2019 Rating: 5
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