Food poisoning is a harsh and often unexpected illness affecting your digestive tract, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). It’s a common sickness, with 48 million Americans acquiring a “foodborne disease” every year, according to the CDC.
It is contracted through “viruses, bacteria, and parasites” present in food and drink, says the NIDDK. These harmful foreign contaminators can be caused by a failure to correctly prepare or cook food. Most foreign pathogens should be eliminated by the cooking process, according to the NIDDK.
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How long does food poisoning last?
The effects of food poisoning kick in within several hours, says the NIDDK, after digesting the contaminated substances, and usually won’t occur unnoticed. On rare occasions, food poisoning symptoms can take days to make themselves known, so don’t always expect an immediate reaction if you fear you ate contaminated food.
The NIDDK says the length of food poisoning can vary, lasting only a day or less for some and up to a week for others.
What are symptoms of food poisoning?
Symptoms of food poisoning include stomach issues, such as cramps and vomiting, a fever, nausea or diarrhea.
Dangerous food poisoning circumstances include over three days of drastic symptoms, such as diarrhea, a high fever of 102, dehydration or a damaging effect to sight or speech, all according to the CDC.
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What to do if you have food poisoning
The best remedy for food poisoning is rest. Most of the time food poisoning will find its way out of your system, and, after a period of bad days and nights, your body will naturally recover.
Hydration is of vital necessity, as well, says the CDC. A consistent intake of water can keep your body fighting off the germs in peak shape. Some people have recommended Gatorade, due to its electrolyte supply, but the CDC advises against it. The CDC also suggests when serious symptoms occur you should consult your healthcare provider.
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What illnesses are similar to food poisoning?
The stomach flu and food poisoning are constantly compared to each other, and, while there are significant similarities, the timing sets them apart. The stomach flu has symptoms appearing between 12 hours to two days of contracting the illness, according to the CDC, whereas food poisoning is generally nearly immediate and symptomatic within hours of contracting it.
The COVID-19 omicron variant has similar symptoms too, including vomiting, a fever, and nausea, says the CDC. Omicron, though, can last in your body up to two weeks until symptoms even begin to appear and require a full quarantine to ensure that the coronavirus does not continue to spread.
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