Viral Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is a terrible problem because there is hardly anything that you can do about it besides wait for your symptoms to reside. Food-borne illnesses can be caused by viruses, parasites, and bacteria that come to inhabit improperly handled or prepared food as well as contaminated water. Viral versions of food poisoning can be caused by noroviruses, rotavirus, and hepatitis A.

Noroviruses, often called the “stomach flu,” is a highly contagious food-borne illness that often infects people who live in highly populated areas, such as cruise ships. This is why noroviruses have been called cruise ship illnesses, as well as caliciviruses and Norwalk-like viruses. These are the most common cause of food poisoning in adults.

It typically shows up with the common food poisoning symptoms of abdominal pain, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a low fever. Thankfully, this typically goes away in two to three days.

This virus is carried by feces, so shellfish and vegetables that are grown in water that is contaminated with norovirus-carrying feces can they themselves become contaminated.

Rotaviruses are the most common cause of food poisoning in infants and children. It causes vomiting followed by diarrhea and fever which can be moderate to severe. Because the vomiting and diarrhea can quickly cause a child to become dehydrated, which can be dangerous, children that are admitted to the hospital with diarrhea are almost always tested for this disease. Like noroviruses, rotaviruses are transmitted in feces, so food that is grown or prepared with fecal-contaminated water is at risk for carrying the virus.

Another fecal-transmitted disease is hepatitis A. Instead of the typical stomach pain and diarrhea caused by food-borne illnesses, hepatitis A can leave you feeling tired. Additionally, you make experience fever and a loss of appetite, followed by the onset of jaundice. Jaundice occurs because hepatitis in an inflammation of the liver, which is in charge of filtering the blood. When the liver is attacked by hepatitis A, it loses its ability to filter the blood as effectively. Thus, a substance called bilirubin can build up in the skin and eyes, making them appear yellowish.

Typically, doctors will try to manage your symptoms and prevent you from becoming dehydrated since there is no one treatment to solve hepatitis A. Generally, you must wait for the illness to subside on its own unless you have other liver conditions.

If you or someone you know has become infected with a food-borne virus, you should hold the negligent party responsible for allowing your food to become contaminated with fecal matter. For more information, talk to a product liability lawyer from Haralson, Miller, Pitt, Feldman & McAnally, P.L.C., today.