Health June 11, 2023 | 12:00 pm

Food poisoning caused by Salmonella and E. Coli are common in our country

Nausea and abdominal pain are signs of food poisoning. (EXTERNAL SOURCE)

Food poisoning is a condition people get after eating or drinking a product containing bacteria, parasites, viruses, or toxins released by these microorganisms. Bacteria cause most cases of food poisoning.

Diario Libre spoke with the gastroenterologist Carmen Cabral, who affirmed that salmonella is one of the main bacteria causing food poisoning, together with Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia Coli (E. Coli), and Campylobacter.

The specialist acknowledged that, lately, in her professional practice at Centro Medico Moderno, she has seen an increase in positive diagnoses for salmonella and Escherichia coli.

“Could it be that they are in the water, in the vegetables? Could it be that people are eating more in the street? Something is happening!” the specialist commented.

According to Cabral, “before there was a lot of amoeba, but now you do a gastrointestinal panel on patients, and you find Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and salmonella like nothing else. I’m not even surprised anymore.”

“Where there is no good food handling, that’s where you get infected,” she said.

The gastro listed the symptoms: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, headache, and sometimes bloody diarrhea.

“When the patient goes to the emergency room it is because he is dehydrated most of the time because he has vomited a lot. Then come the complications where the patient can go into sepsis or septic shock,” she said.

The physician emphasized washing vegetables for salads, washing hands after going to the bathroom, covering food to avoid flies, and not reheating food more than once.

“A lot of pesticides are used and the handling from the field to the final consumption destination is too much. Some people think that vinegar is enough,” he commented.

Cabral recommends using chlorinated water with 20 drops of chlorine per gallon and leaving the products to soak for half an hour.

“They should be washed with bottled water, because if you use tap water, we are not at all,” she specified.

The doctor pointed out that the effects of food poisoning would depend on the organism of each individual but that there is an incubation period depending on the pathogen in the food.

Salmonella, frequent in poultry, eggs, and dairy products, usually lasts between six hours to six days in its incubation period.

Escherichia coli typically lasts three to four days; sometimes, it can take up to 10 days. It is found in raw or undercooked meat, unpasteurized juice or milk, soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, and contaminated water and feces of people carrying the bacteria.

In seafood poisoning, the reaction usually takes 30 to 60 minutes and up to 24 hours.

Cabral recommends seeking medical advice since these bacteria can cause intestinal perforation and affect the liver and gall bladder if not adequately treated.

Treatment usually includes antibiotics, usually with metronidazole, and sufficient hydration.

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