What's Going Around: Foodborne Illness

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Holiday celebrations and indulgent meals have many people complaining with symptoms including nausea and upset stomach. The symptoms are What's Going Around right now and moving quickly though families. Many people might suspect they are suffering a stomach virus, but bacteria from food in this season of family gatherings is to blame.

From holiday parties to potluck dinners, problems start when cooks don't follow the first basic of working in the kitchen: thorough handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Dr. Mike Patrick, from Nationwide Children’s Hospital Emergency Medicine said it is also important to follow guidelines for proper food handling, “So if it's a food that has dairy products in it, meat, poultry, and there are particular instructions on keeping it chilled and then heating it, you want to make sure you're following all of those rules and not letting things get to room temperature that shouldn't be.”

Symptoms of food borne illness include cramping nausea and diarrhea. Treatment starts with supportive care because the experts say the human body will work to take care of itself. In some cases, doctors may prescribe medication for vomiting and diarrhea. Be sure to address dehydration which is a risk: fluid replacement-- oral rehydration-- is essential to helping your body take care of the problem.