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Food Poisoning

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Food poisoning facts

  • Food poisoning is a common infectious condition that affects millions of people in the United States each year.
  • Most commonly, patients complain of vomiting, diarrhea, and cramping abdominal pain.
  • People should seek medical care if they have an associated fever, blood in their stool, signs and symptoms of dehydration, or if their symptoms do not resolve after a couple of days.
  • Treatment focuses on keeping the affected individual well hydrated.
  • Most cases of food poisoning resolve on their own.
  • Prevention is key and depends upon keeping food preparation areas clean,proper hand washing, and cooking foods thoroughly.

What is food poisoning?

Food poisoning is a food borne disease. Ingestion of food that contains a toxin, chemical or infectious agent (like a bacterium, virus, parasite, or prion) may cause adverse symptoms in the body. All of these agents are considered potential causes of food poisoning by most health care professional. Those symptoms may be related only to the gastrointestinal tract causing vomiting or diarrhea or they may involve other organs such as the kidney, brain, or muscle.

Typically most food borne diseases cause vomiting and diarrhea that tend to be short lived and resolve on their own, but dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities may develop. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 48 million people become ill from food related diseases each year resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths.

According to the CDC, in 2011, the most common foodborne illnesses in the United States each year are caused by Norovirus, and the bacteria Campylobacter, Clostridium perfringens, and Salmonella.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/10/2015

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/food_poisoning/article.htm

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