Foodborne illnesses - Diseases resulting from consumption of foods contaminated with pathogenic BACTERIA, fungi, parasites, or viruses. Foodborne illnesses, also called food poisoning, are common, affecting 76 million Americans each year. There are several hundred known foodborne illnesses, most of which cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal symptoms including abdominal cramping, NAUSEA, VOMITING, and DIARRHEA. Illness results from consuming a food contaminated with pathogens. Common sources include undercooked meats and cooked foods that remain at room temperature for longer than two hours. Most often, it is not possible to tell from taste, smell, or appearance that a food contains pathogens.
Prevention is the primary focus when it comes to foodborne illnesses. The simple measure of washing the hands before and after preparing foods, eating meals, changing diapers, and using the bathroom could eliminate many foodborne illnesses by preventing bacteria and other pathogens from contact with foods. Other FOOD SAFETY measures to reduce the risk for infection from foodborne pathogens include
Most foodborne illnesses are self-limiting; the infection runs its course (usually within three to five days) and the person fully recovers without medical treatment. Supportive treatment such as adequate fluid intake is important to prevent DEHYDRATION; soups and juices also help maintain nutrition. Doctors often discourage people from taking ANTIDIARRHEAL MEDICATIONS that work by slowing gastrointestinal motility, such as loperamide or diphenoxylate, because these drugs may prolong the illness by prolonging the presence of the PATHOGEN in the gastrointestinal tract.
Some foodborne illnesses need prompt medical treatment, such as BOTULISM. Some parasitic and bacterial infections require appropriate medications. Some foodborne illnesses may spread from one person to another, such as HEPATITIS and ESCHERICHIA COLI INFECTION. A doctor should evaluate symptoms that are severe or persist longer than five days.
|CAMPYLOBACTERIOSIS||Escherichia coli INFECTION|
Resource: Facts On File Encyclopedia Of Health And Medicine
What is a virus - definition Virus - an infectious PATHOGEN that must invade a host cell to replicate, technically called an obligate intracellular PARASITE. A virus is a particle of living material that contains an inner core of nucleic acid (DNA or RNA), called the genome, encased in an outer shell of protein, called a capsid. Some viruses contain a
A VIRUS family that causes INFECTION of mucous membrane tissues throughout the body. Adenoviruses are responsible for a wide range of illness including upper respiratory infection, viral CONJUNCTIVITIS, GASTROENTERITIS, and URINARY TRACT INFECTION (UTI). These infections primarily affect children age 10 and younger. Infection with one adenovirus confers
A parasitic INFECTION of the gastrointestinal tract. The PARASITE responsible is Entamoeba histolytica, a single-cell organism (an ameba) that enters the body by drinking water or eating food that contains E. histolytica in cyst form. The cyst is a protective encasing within which the ameba may sustain itself in a dormant stage for weeks to months outside a
Antibiotic medications - Drugs that kill BACTERIA and certain other microorganisms. Antibiotic medications are the mainstay of treatment for bacterial INFECTION. Broad-spectrum antibiotics are capable of killing numerous types of bacteria; narrowspectrum antibiotics kill specific types or strains of bacteria. There are seven primary classifications of
Drugs that kill fungi (yeast). Antifungal medications are available for topical or systemic treatment. Some fungal infections require both. Antifungal medications work through various mechanisms to interfere with the ability of fungi to survive or reproduce. Broadspectrum antifungal medications are effective for treating a variety of fungal infections;
Antiviral medications - medications to shorten the course and lessen the severity of illness due to viral INFECTION as well as reduce viral shedding to minimize contagiousness. Some antiviral medications are able to prevent viral infection from developing after exposure to the VIRUS. Antiviral medications mark a fine line because they must destroy viruses
Anthrax (disease) - an illness resulting from INFECTION with the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax is a naturally occurring infection among wild and domestic livestock (such as cows, sheep, goats, and antelope). Anthrax is rare in people in the United States, though more common in people who live, work, or travel to countries where anthrax is more
An illness that results from INFECTION with the parasitic protozoan Babesia microti. Most people who have babesiosis do not have symptoms; the infection causes illness primarily in people who are IMMUNOCOMPROMISED or who have had SPLENECTOMY (surgical removal of the SPLEEN). The bite of the Ixodes tick, found in the northeastern United States, is the mode
What is bacteria and definition of bacteria Bacteria - single-cell microorganisms (microbes). Bacteria are the most ancient and primitive life forms known, with fossils dating back more than 3 billion years. A bacterium’s structure is very simple, consisting of a rigid cell wall that supports and contains the cytoplasm, fragments of RNA, and a single
What is Botulism Botulism is a potentially life-threatening illness resulting from INFECTION with the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The BACTERIA are naturally present in soil, where they encase themselves in spores. In the body, the bacteria release a toxin that blocks the release of acetylcholine, a NEUROTRANSMITTER that facilitates NERVE