Food poisoning is a common yet mild, but sometimes deadly illness that is caused by bacteria which enters the body through food.DR. Rachna Pandey says “food poisoning is some infection entering the body through infected food or water”.
Many cases of food poisoning are not reported because people experience mild suffering symptoms and recover quickly.
Last week cases of the infection hit many news head lines after a number of people who had attended a KCC meeting at Kigali Independence University (ULK) ate food that had been prepared the previous day.
Food poisoning causes;
“However a source of contamination can be at a level of cooking, cleaning and serving, the germs can directly cause diarrhoea or vomiting as in salmonellosis, shingelosis or they can release a toxin causing food poisoning like clostridium” Dr. Rachna Pande emphasizes.
She also noted that food poisoning is different from allergies because they are body reactions of the body to some substance, due to antibodies being produced, then coloring of or flavoring agents used in processed foods.
The known causes of food poisoning can be divided into two categories: infectious and toxic agents. Infectious agents include viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
Toxic agents include poisonous mushrooms, improperly prepared exotic foods such as barracuda), or pesticides on fruits and vegetables.
Food usually becomes from poor sanitation or preparation. Food handlers who do not wash their hands after using the bathroom or have infections themselves often cause contamination. Improperly packaged food stored at the wrong temperature also promotes contamination.
Food poisoning symptoms
Many people do not know about these indications. Symptoms of food poisoning are many however they depend on the type of content eaten; the symptoms can develop rapidly, within 30 minutes, or slowly worsening over days to weeks.
Most of the most contaminants cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal cramping. Usually food poisoning is not serious, and the illness runs its course in 24- 48 hours.
More so it’s important to note that viruses account for the most food poisoning cases where a specific contaminant is found.
Food poisoning self care and prevention at home.
Short episodes of vomiting and small amounts of diarrhoea lasting less than 24 hours can usually be cared for at home. Never the less some tips are given to treat the illness. One of the tips is to avoid eating solid for when feeling nauseous or vomiting but drink plenty of fluids.
Small, frequent sips of clear liquids (those you can see through) are the best way to stay hydrated.
Avoid hydrated alcoholic, caffeinated, or sugary drinks. Dr Rachna notes that “food poisoning can be best prevented by maintaining good hygiene”.
“Water for drinking should be clean, free from particulate and germs, cleaning can either be by filters available or boiling” she urges.
After successfully tolerating fluids, eating should begin slowly, when nausea and vomiting have stopped. Plain foods that are that easy should be started in small amounts.
Consider eating rice, wheat, breads, potatoes, low sugar cereals. Milk can be given safely although some people may experience some additional stomach upset.
The main treatment for food poisoning is putting fluids back to the body (rehydration) through drinking. The patient may need to be admitted to the hospital.
Often people have suffered the illness and they undermine it. Food poisoning needs much observation especially on children.
However with strong food poisoning illnesses a doctor is required to give antidotes and intensive care.