Food-Borne Illness

Friday, April 19, 2013

Food-borne illness, commonly called food poisoning, is caused by a number of food-borne bacteria and viruses. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about this type of illness in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Food-borne illness comes from eating food contaminated with bacteria or other pathogens such as parasites or viruses.

Although most food-borne infections are undiagnosed and unreported, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that every year 48 million people in the United States get food poisoning, accounting for 128,000 hospitalizations and more than 3,000 deaths.

Symptoms may come on as early as a half hour after eating the contaminated food or they can be delayed for several days or weeks. Symptoms usually last only a day or two, but in some cases persist up to 10 days. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever, headache, vomiting and dehydration.

Your doctor may diagnose food-borne illness from a history of your food intake and results of stool and blood tests.

Most cases of food-borne illness are mild and can be treated by increasing fluid intake to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. In cases with severe dehydration or neurological symptoms, hospitalization may be required.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.