Close to one in five episodes of diarrhea
is likely to be due to a food-borne disease. This means that the average person in the United States will have a food-borne illness once every three to four years. Fortunately, most people recover from an episode of food-borne illness without any long-term complications.
The symptoms of food poisoning include nausea
, abdominal pain
(often aching or colicky in nature), diarrhea (which may be watery or bloody), fevers and very rarely blurry vision
Food poisoning can be caused by a wide variety of bacteria
, viruses and toxins. Some of the most common causes include e.Coli, salmonella
, hepatitis a
, norovirus and listeria. Since each of these bacteria or viruses have different pathogenic mechanisms, the onset of symptoms after ingestion can widely vary. In some instances, symptoms can start within minutes of ingestion (e.g. If the food ingested contains pre-formed toxins that have been produced by bacteria) and in others, symptoms may take days to develop as bacteria first have to grow within the gastrointestinal tract.