are produced by a microscopic organism Clostridium botulinum. A deadly
poison even in small doses (0.02mg can kill a full grown adult), it
can be absorbed through the skin, lungs, eyes and mucous membranes.
The poison occurs in the soil and naturally in low acid foods. It can
be distributed through aerosol methods, water and food.
BT is an efficient
killer, with a fatality rate of about 60-70%. The initial symptoms are
dizziness and general weakness, appearing within 6-48 hours of contact,
followed by disturbance in vision, difficulty in swallowing, breathing
and speaking. Frothing is also common. There is little pain except for
headaches. The victim remains mentally alert but is physically paralyzed.
An untreated victim would go into convulsions and die within 2 to 10
days. The poison inhibits the release of acetylcholine, causing the
victim to suffer paralysis.