illness often shows itself as flu-like symptoms such as nausea,
vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea or fever, so many people
may not recognize it as a foodborne illness. The severity
of the symptoms may depend on the quantity of food that was
eaten and the age of the person. Young children and older
adults are more susceptible to foodborne illness. People
with compromised immune systems also may be more susceptible.
The onset of symptoms ranges from a few hours to two or more
days after the contaminated food was eaten.
Bacteria or other
pathogens on food cause Foodborne illness. Thousands of types
of bacteria are naturally present in our environment, but
only some bacteria cause disease in humans. Bacteria that
cause illness are called "pathogens." When certain
pathogens enter the food supply, they can cause foodborne
Estimates of people affected by foodborne illness
range from 3.3 million to 12.8 million cases each year and
3900 deaths each year, according to the USDA's Economic Research
Service. The reason for the large range is that many people
attribute their illness to "24 Hour Flu" and do
not report it or seek treatment for foodborne illness.
I think I have a foodborne illness.
If you think you may
have a foodborne illness, consult your physician immediately.
After seeing your doctor, please call the Health Department at 676-6724.
The Health Department wants to know about your illness
in order to track trends in the community and prevent further
incidences of foodborne illness. We will conduct an investigation
at the food establishment to learn more about possible factors.
It is very helpful to us if you can provide the following
- The place you ate
- The date and time
- What you ate
- What your symptoms were and the time they first
- The names of anyone who ate with you and whether
or not they are ill
- Food History for the last 7 days
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