Foodborne illness is an unfortunate reality for millions of Americans each year. Here's what you need to know about their causes, their symptoms and what you can do to boost your chances of staying healthy.
Nobody wants to experience foodborne illness (also known as food poisoning), but chances are, you or someone you know has been sickened by consumed food. It is also an unhappy yet prevalent news topic, especially when a large corporation bears the burden of sharing the news that its customers are suffering from an illness they picked up at its business.
Here's what you need to know about the most common types of foodborne illnesses, what causes them and how you can lower your risk of contracting any of these awful germs.
Norovirus is the virus responsible for most cases of gastroenteritis in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control, norovirus causes 19 million to 21 million illnesses each year and contributes to 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths.
E. coli, short for Escherichia coli, is a bacteria that is normally present in the intestines of people and animals. Most E. coli is harmless, but a few strains are pathogenic and can cause illnesses.
Salmonella, a bacteria, causes about 1 million foodborne illnesses in the U.S., and in some, the infection can be deadly.
Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterial infection, causes a serious illness that typically affects newborns, the elderly, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems, but it can occasionally affect people without those risk factors.
Hepatitis A is a serious, highly contagious liver infection. While it can be transmitted from an infected person directly to an other person, it can also find its way into food.
Campylobacter is a bacteria and a common cause of diarrheal illness in the U.S.
Trichinosis is caused by a parasitic worm present in undercooked food, but fortunately incidence in the U.S. is rare.
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