Welcome to the Food Borne Disease Site. The sources of the foodborne illness pathogens are ubiquitous. Food and food products will always be contaminated with low levels of pathogens. At low levels, pathogenic microorganisms cause no problems. At illness thresholds, however, they can make people ill and cause death.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021


Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of intestines and stomach. The symptoms can include diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever or feeling unwell. It could be persistent, acute, or chronic, and can also be classified as infectious or non-infectious.

Diarrhea is defined as the passage of three or more loose or watery stools per day (or more frequent passage of stool than is normal for the individual). Sometimes diarrhea is so severe that a person becomes very ill and loses large amounts of body fluids.

There are three clinical classifications of diarrheal conditions:
• Acute diarrhea, lasting several hours or days
• Acute bloody diarrhea or dysentery
• Persistent diarrhea, lasting 14 days or longer

The three major types of germs that cause gastro are bacteria, viruses and parasites. While most of these are usually harmless, many can cause illness in some situations.

Gastro can also be caused by toxins that some bacteria produce in food (for example Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens).

It is quite challenging to establish accurate incidence and prevalence of acute gastroenteritis because of under-reporting of attacks by many patients. Moreover, only 1.5% of stool samples get positive results for a bacterial cause.

Viral infection that affects the stomach and small intestine is called stomach flu. The illness is usually brief, lasting 1 to 3 days. Norovirus and Rotavirus are the most common causes of viral gastroenteritis. Reports suggest that up to twenty-five million cases of acute viral gastroenteritis occur annually in the United States.

The virus enters the stomach and intestine and inflames the lining of these organs. As a result, the stomach and intestine are temporarily unable to perform their usual functions.

The most important causes of bacterial gastroenteritis in Europe have been reported to be enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC), Campylobacter, and enteropathogenic E. coli. A study in 2012 has concluded that Campylobacter was responsible for more cases of chronic gastroenteritis than Salmonella, with an incidence of 68 vs. 22 cases per 100,000.

Germs that cause gastroenteritis are usually spread by contamination of something that goes in human mouth. This can occur by contact with contaminated objects, including food or water, or by contact with other people who are ill.

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