FOOD POISONING: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Food poisoning is a common illness that is caused by infectious organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and or their toxins. We usually acquire food poisoning when we intake contaminated food. Another term used for food poisoning is foodborne illness. Food contamination may occurs anytime and anywhere. Food poisoning may be cause of over 250 different disease, but some of the main cause are Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, and others.
Symptoms of Food Poisoning
Symptoms of food poisoning may vary depending on the person and how contaminated the food is. But most often, persons who had been infected of food poisoning may encounter one or several symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain and cramps. Symptoms of food poisoning may start within a few hours after consumption of the contaminated food or several days later. With proper rest and medication, food poisoning may last from a few hours up to several days. Although if a person who encounters food poisoning is not immediately treated it may last longer or may lead to the death of the person.
What is Campylobacter Infection and Its Symptoms?
Acute diarrhea is caused by the bacterium campylobacter. The transposal happens when a person digest contaminated food, water, and unpasteurized milk. It may also be transmitted if a person come into contact with infected infants, pets, and wild animals. The campylobacter infection may become a serious health concern especially for those who have weak immune system. Campylobacter infection can cause reactive arthritis or brain and nerve problem, although these are rare cases.
Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and/or cramping, malaise, and fever are the symptoms of campylobacter infection.
How can Campylobacter Infection be Diagnosed and Treated?
A doctor can diagnose campylobacter infection by taking a sample of a person's’ stool and identifying the type of the bacteria. A person with the bacteria that causes campylobacter infection may recover without any medical help. Although some take antibiotics such as erythromycin in order to lessen the length of time that they will be infected.
It is important to note that since a person infected is having diarrhea, he should drink plenty of fluids such as water in order to not get dehydrated.
What is Salmonella?
Salmonella infection or also known as salmonellosis is a bacterial disease of the intestinal tract. Typhoid fever, food poisoning, gastroenteritis, enteric fever, and other illness may result from this group of bacteria called Salmonella. Ingestion of contaminated water and food particularly meat, poultry, and eggs are the main cause of salmonella.
Is there any Serious Problems caused by Salmonella?
Most of often than not, people who had been infected of salmonella completely recovers in a few months. Although some people who had been infected with salmonella may experience reactive arthritis. Joint pain, eye irritation, and pain when urinating are some symptoms of reactive arthritis. Chronic arthritis may become a result of the joint pain. Salmonella infection hardly causes death, although it may become that case especially for those who have been infected very young, very old, or persons with weak immune system.
How can Salmonella Infection be Diagnosed and Treated?
A doctor can diagnose a person with salmonella by taking a salmonella of his stool. Salmonella infection often go away within five to seven days and it does not need any medical treatment unless you are dehydrated or if the infection had spread outside the intestine. Antibiotics may be prescribed if needed.
Can Salmonella be Avoided?
Avoid intaking raw or uncooked meat or poultry products including eggs, in order to prevent salmonella infection. Cross-contamination may occur if the utensils used for the raw or uncooked meat or poultry is re-used to prepare the food. Cross-contamination may also occur when the food being prepared is put on the surface where the raw and uncooked meat was on previously. It important to frequently wash hands before and after handling and preparing the food.
What is Shigella?
Shigella infection also known as shigellosis is caused by a family of bacteria known as shigella. It is a intestinal disease. Children are most likely to to get infected of shigella especially if they are ages of 2 and 4. A bloody diarrhea is the main sign of shigella infection. Shigella bacteria can usually be transferred through the contact with the stool. Intake of contaminated food and water can also cause shigella infection.
How can Shigella Infection be Diagnosed and Treated?
A doctor can diagnosed shigella infection by taking a sample of the stool. Most people recover within a few days without special treatment. It is important to take note to drink plenty of fluids in order to avoid dehydration. But if a severe infection occur, antibiotics and more aggressive treatment are suggested in order to avoid dehydration.
Can Shigella Infection be Avoided?
Proper hygiene is the key to avoid shigella from spreading. It is important to frequently wash our hands with soap and water especially if we come into contact with an infected persons stool. If you are a mother of an infected child, always wash your hands before and after changing the diaper of your child.