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Botulism is a rare, but serious illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by bacteria. There are three main kinds of botulism. Foodborne botulism is caused by eating foods that contain the botulism toxin. Wound botulism is caused by toxin produced from a wound infected with the bacteria. And, infant botulism occurs when babies eat foods  containing spores of botulinum bacteria, which then grow in the intestines and release toxin. All forms of botulism can be fatal and are considered medical emergencies.

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Last Reviewed: 3/31/2023