While food is intended to fuel the body, sometimes it can make people sick. According to the National Capital Poison Center, food poisoning annually affects one in six Americans. With such a high proportion of people affected, Connecticut residents may wonder what the most common symptoms of food poisoning are so that they will know in case they or a loved one gets a food-borne illness.

Food poisoning may be incurred by anyone, as the cause is contaminated food. This includes meat and dairy products, as well as certain types of vegetables. Molds and bacteria are just two of 250 contaminants that could cause food poisoning. Symptoms may vary depending on which contaminant you come in contact with. If your case of food poisoning is caused by E. coli, you may experience diarrhea or stomach cramps. Salmonella, on the other hand, may cause vomiting and a fever. Botulism symptoms include double or blurred vision, and sometimes involve muscle paralysis.

Some food poisoning symptoms are common regardless of the type you incur. Dehydration, for example, may be caused by any type, as fluids may be lost through diarrhea or vomiting. Your gastrointestinal system is also usually affected, with symptoms ranging from cramps to nausea. Symptoms usually begin within a day of eating contaminated food, although symptoms may take longer to emerge in some types.

Because other cases of food poisoning can be prevented by the intervention of public health workers, symptoms should be reported. Some cases of food poisoning can be fatal if left untreated, especially if they are incurred by the elderly and young children. If you get a food-borne illness, it is a good idea to speak to your doctor if your symptoms do not disappear. You may need to be tested for food poisoning or visit the emergency room for dehydration. Some types require an antitoxin, which can only be administered at hospitals.

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