What is the mortality and morbidity associated with botulism?

Updated: Feb 15, 2019
  • Author: Kirk M Chan-Tack, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Mortality rates vary based on the age of the patient and the type of botulism. Foodborne botulism carries an overall mortality rate of 5-10%. Wound botulism carries a mortality rate that ranges from 15-17%. The risk of death due to infant botulism is usually less than 1%.

The recovery period from botulism is often prolonged (30-100 d). Some patients demonstrate residual weakness or autonomic dysfunction for 1 year after the onset of the illness. However, most patients achieve full neurologic recovery. Permanent deficits may occur in those who sustain significant hypoxic insults.

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