Food poisoning is a common condition that occurs primarily in the summer months when people eat or drink food or water containing germs (microbes) or their toxins. Every year, millions of people in the United States ingest contaminated food resulting in food poisoning. The elderly, children, and people with a weak immune system are most susceptible to food poisoning. Common viruses and bacteria that result in this illness are Norovirus, E. coli, and Salmonella. Gastrointestinal symptoms generally characterize these. The toxin of Clostridium botulinum causes the food-borne illness botulism, which although rare, is potentially fatal. Symptoms can begin within hours of eating the contaminated food, but there can also be an incubation period of two to three days or even a couple of weeks. Food poisoning can have typical symptoms, which may last from several hours to several days.
Vomiting is a very telling sign of food poisoning. Typically, a person is not able to keep fluids down. Frequent episodes of vomiting can make for an extremely uncomfortable experience, but it is through vomiting that the body tries to flush out all the contaminated food. Solid foods can result in more vomiting; therefore, it is better not to have big meals until you feel fine. Avoid having any more of the food that resulted in poisoning; in case you aren't sure what caused the condition, eat freshly prepared food, and dispose of the old food.
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