Fact sheet - Health conditions directory
Botulism is a rare but potentially fatal condition that causes progressive and often rapid weakness. In Australia, there is typically only one case of botulism reported per year. Botulism is caused by nerve toxins made by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. These bacteria are found worldwide in soils, but people who develop botulism most commonly get it from eating food that is contaminated with the bacteria or its toxin. Occasionally, the bacteria can get into the body through a break in the skin. The toxin that causes botulism is one of the most powerful known poisons and small amounts can do lots of damage to nerves. While death from botulism is rare, full recovery may take months.
Public health management guidelines
Attending medical practitioners/medical superintendents (or delegates)
- List of all Pathological, clinical and provisional diagnosis notifiable conditions
- List of Public Health Unit contacts
- Notifiable conditions
report form for Queensland clinicians (PHA S70) (PDF, 48kB)
- if faxing notification, follow up by phone.
Resources for health professionals
- Accessing Heptavalent botulism antitoxin (BAT) (PDF, 170kB) – guidance on the process for accessing botulism antitoxin in Queensland.