Botulism, a paralytic illness, is rare, but it can cause serious, paralyzing symptoms and may be fatal. The disease is caused by a nerve toxin formed from a bacterium (germ), called Clostridium botulinum, which is found in soil.
There are seven known botulism toxins (poisons), but only toxins type A, B, E, and F are harmful to humans.
On average, only 110 cases of botulism are reported in the United States each year. Of these:
Infant botulism is a very rare disorder in the Chicago area.