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What Is Shigella?

Posted on in Food borne illness


Do you feel a sharp pain in your lower abdomen and stomach and have the urge to use the bathroom 10 to 20 times a day? You might have Shigellosis, a severe intestinal infection caused by a bacterium called Shigella. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 450,000 people are diagnosed with Shigellosis every year. Causing bloody diarrhea, fever, nausea, cramps, and abdominal pain, this foodborne illness can infect anyone with poor sanitation habits. While there is no proper treatment for Shigellosis, researchers are still working on vaccines to prevent the spread of the bacteria. Keep reading to learn more about Shigella.


joliet food poisoning lawyerIn American society, there is too often a sense that if someone is suffering due to a foodborne illness, they are simply grappling with a turn of bad luck. In reality, food poisoning usually occurs because of negligent practices by individuals or companies. As a result, many cases of food poisoning are legally actionable. Inadequate hygiene, poor safety practices, and a host of other preventable challenges are what generally lead to food poisoning on farms, in manufacturing facilities, packaging centers, stores, restaurants, and events where food is served.

There are two challenges that generally make filing a food poisoning matter in civil court particularly tricky. First, a plaintiff must be able to prove that their food poisoning resulted in financial loss, such as medical bills from a hospital stay and lost income due to time off taken to recover. Second, it can be difficult to prove exactly how and why a food poisoning victim became ill.

Retracing One’s Steps  

For a food poisoning case to be actionable, a victim must be able to prove that they were suffering from food poisoning, not an alternative medical condition. As a result – and so that they can be treated effectively – it is important for those who have been made ill to seek medical attention and to obtain a formal diagnosis.


chicago food poisioning lawyerWhen you are not feeling well, it is rare that you know exactly what is going on. Unless you have been in direct contact with someone who is sick or your symptoms are unusually distinct, chances are that you wait until you are surer of what is happening to you before you take action, such as heading to your doctor’s office. After all, in the early stages of medical distress, you could potentially be suffering from anything from food poisoning to chicken pox and it often pays to know what you are dealing with before attempting to manage the situation in specific ways.

Frustratingly, it is not always easy to understand what is happening to your body, even if you wait until you are uncomfortably symptomatic before trying to treat your condition. For example, it is often difficult to discern whether you have food poisoning or the flu if you are experiencing gastrointestinal distress.  

Diagnostic Challenges

Much as the flu and other viral and bacterial illnesses do, food poisoning symptoms generally do not manifest until hours – or even days – after exposure. While Norovirus patients generally become ill within 12-to-48 hours, Cryptosporidiosis patients could be asymptomatic for up to 10 days.


illinois food poisioning lawyerFor pregnant women, the list of potentially dangerous things to avoid can seem endless. Obviously, activities like smoking and drinking are off-limits, but so are many other common activities - cleaning a cat litter box, certain types of exercise, flying on airplanes after a certain date, and eating fish that are high in mercury. However, the most common dangers that pregnant women face can come from a seemingly innocuous source: Food, especially food that is often seen as healthy like salads. Women who suffer from food poisoning during pregnancy can face serious consequences and, if they are injured, may be entitled to take legal action. 

Why is Foodborne Illness More Dangerous During Pregnancy? 

A crucial part of healthy fetal development is the suppression of the mother’s own immune system. This prevents the mother’s body from rejecting the fetus as a foreign object, but it also weakens the immune system’s ability to respond to threats, making serious illness from germs much more likely. Common types of food poisoning, such as E. coli, salmonella, and listeria, have the potential to develop serious complications in pregnant women, including, but not limited to: 

  • Problems with the fetus’s neurological development


illinois food poisoning lawyerOn February 12, people all over the United States, including Illinois, will gather with friends and family to watch the Super Bowl. During this time-honored American tradition, food plays a major role, and people make and order a wide variety of food. Every year, the USDA issues a warning to be careful about food handling and food safety; and yet, every year, people get sick. 

Whether you get food poisoning from the food you buy at the store or food you order from a restaurant, it can pose serious risks to your health. Learn more about the unique dangers of food poisoning that long-lasting events can pose, and contact an Illinois food poisoning attorney for help with your case. 

Why Are Super Bowl Events a Common Source of Food Poisoning? 

One of the most enjoyable parts of watching the Super Bowl is that it is not just a game - it is an event, with a much-anticipated Halftime Show, entertaining commercials, and sports commentary before and after the game. Super Bowl events typically last at least four hours, but often go on for much longer. During the entire event, large amounts of food frequently sit out at room temperature and are not refrigerated, reheated, or covered. 

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