Infant Botulism

Infant botulism is a disease caused by a toxin produced when the intestines of very young children become infected by the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum.

Children who get infant botulism are generally younger than six months old. The spores of Clostridium botulinum are common in soil, and can also be found in a variety of foods and in dust. Infant botulism has been associated with feeding contaminated honey (and rarely corn syrup) to infants, but not in children older than one year of age or in adults.

The initial symptoms of infant botulism are constipation and poor feeding, followed by listlessness and weakness that may be severe enough to make the baby appear “floppy.”

Information for the General Public

Information for Public Health Departments