Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Botulism baby serious in hospital

Botulism bacteria
Clostridium botulinum is one of the world's most dangerous poisons

A 16-week-old baby from Fife is being treated in hospital after contracting botulism.

Logan Douglas, from Oakley in Dunfermline, is described as serious but stable in hospital in Edinburgh.

Botulism is a rare paralytic illness caused by a toxin, which is very poisonous to humans.

Logan's parents, Theresa Fitzpatrick and Alex Douglas, have been at his bedside since he was admitted to hospital on 19 September.

Ms Fitzpatrick said: "We are pleased that he's in the best place to get the treatment he needs and hope he will be fit and strong again as soon as possible."

Mr Douglas added: "He's our bonnie lad and we are looking forward to getting him back home soon and seeing him smiling again."

'Blurred vision'

A spokeswoman for Health Protection Scotland said: "Based on our electronic records, which go back to 1983, we have not seen a laboratory report of an infant botulism case.

"There have been no cases of botulism in Scotland in the last year."

Information on the HPA's website states: "There are three main types of botulism - foodborne botulism, intestinal botulism (which is due to proliferation of the organism in the gut) and wound botulism.

"Symptoms often begin with blurred vision and difficulty in swallowing and speaking, but diarrhoea and vomiting can also occur.

"The disease can progress to paralysis. Most cases will recover, but the recovery period can be many months.

"The disease can be fatal in 5% to 10% of cases; death is due to respiratory failure."

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