Foodborne illness is caused by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. Many different disease-causing microbes or pathogens can contaminate foods, so there are many different types of foodborne illnesses. Most foodborne diseases are infections caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Other diseases are poisonings caused by harmful toxins or chemicals that have contaminated food. Some foodborne pathogens also can be acquired through recreational or drinking water, from contact with animals or their environment, or through person-to-person spread. Common foodborne illness symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and chills. Most foodborne illnesses happen suddenly and most people recover on their own without treatment. Occasionally, foodborne illness may lead to more serious complications that may include:
Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is a serious illness that usually occurs when an infection in the digestive system produces toxic substances that destroy red blood cells, causing kidney injury. HUS may occur after infection with some kinds of E. coli bacteria. Those who have suffered from HUS may be at risk for other kidney-related problems later in life.
Some people with Campylobacter, Shigella, or Salmonella infections develop pain in their joints, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination called Reactive Arthritis. This arthritic inflammation can last for months or years and can lead to chronic arthritis, which is difficult to treat.
Brain and Nerve Damage
Listeria infections can lead to meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain. If a newborn infant or fetus is infected with Listeria, long-term consequences may include mental retardation, seizures, paralysis, blindness, or deafness.
Foodborne bacterial infections can also precipitate Guillain-Barré syndrome which is a rare disorder that affects the nerves of the body. This disorder may occur when a person’s immune system attacks the body’s own nerves. It can result in paralysis that lasts several weeks and usually requires intensive care.
Your health and wellness is of utmost importance. If you are feeling symptoms of food borne illness please contact your medical provider or emergency department at your local medical provider.
If you or a family member has been severely injured or affected by a food borne illness we urge you to contact Sapien Law at (505) 842-5979 or click on the MyCase link to complete a short intake form. Our law firm is concerned with your health and safety. We urge you to contact the attorneys at Sapien Law to discuss your legal options if you or a family member or friend have been seriously affected by a food borne illness.