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Illinois Personal Injury Attorneys Warn of Common Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Chicago E. coli food poisoning lawyers

Chicago Lawyers for Clients Sickened by E. coli, Salmonella, and Norovirus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 48 million Americans get sick each year due to foodborne illness. That means around 15 percent of the U.S. population falls victim to food poisoning on an annual basis, with approximately 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.

The vast majority of food poisoning cases go unreported, as many of those stricken believe they have the flu and try to wait it out. With 250 known foodborne diseases, this can be a fatal mistake.

Types of Foodborne Illnesses

While incubation times and severity may differ, food poisoning symptoms are often similar among the various food illnesses. In many cases, testing is necessary to determine the actual pathogen. Following is a breakdown of the typical appearance times and symptoms of the most common types of food poisoning:

Norovirus: Symptoms within 12 to 48 hours, including nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Sources include infected individuals, contaminated surfaces, fresh fruit, leafy greens, shellfish, and water.

Salmonella: Symptoms within 12 to 72 hours, including stomach cramps, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. Sources include raw or undercooked meats, unpasteurized milk and juices, eggs, cheese, and raw vegetables and fruits.

Botulism: Symptoms within 18 to 36 hours, including double vision or blurred vision, droopy eyelids, dry mouth, swallowing and breathing difficulty, weakness, and muscle paralysis. Symptoms usually begin in the head and progress down the body as they intensify. Sources include unsafe fermented or canned foods, typically homemade.

Shigella: Symptoms within 24 to 48 hours, including fever, stomach pain, diarrhea, feeling need to pass stool when bowels are empty.  Sources include raw fruits and vegetables.

Campylobacter: Symptoms within two to five days, including stomach pain, fever, and diarrhea (sometimes bloody). Sources include uncooked or undercooked poultry, raw milk, and water.

Cryptosporidiosis: Symptoms within two to 10 days, including dehydration, nausea, stomach pain, fever, vomiting, weight loss. Sources include raw fruits and vegetables, and water.

E. coli: Symptoms within three to four days, including stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea (sometimes bloody). Sources include uncooked or undercooked ground beef, unpasteurized juice or milk, lettuce, sprouts, and water.

Listeria: Symptoms within one to four weeks. Pregnant women may experience fever, fatigue, and aches. Older adults may endure fever, aches, stiff neck, headache, lost balance, mental confusion, and convulsions. Sources include soft cheese, melons, sprouts, sliced meats, hot dogs, smoked salmon, and raw milk.

Hepatitis A: Symptoms within 15 to 50 days, including dark urine, headache, fever, jaundice, nausea, stomach pain, and lost appetite. Sources include uncooked or undercooked shellfish, raw vegetables, and water.

What to Do if You Have Food Poisoning Symptoms

It is easy for food poisoning to be confused with the flu, but in some cases, the damage can be severe and long-lasting. If you experience any of the above symptoms and suspect food poisoning, visit a doctor for a full diagnosis as soon as possible. If you suspect a specific illness, food, or dining establishment is involved, inform your physician. Remember, when it comes to your health, there is no such thing as being too cautious.

Contact an Illinois Food Poisoning Lawyer

At Newland & Newland, LLP, we fight for the compensation food poisoning victims deserve after they contract a foodborne illness from a restaurant, grocery, or other food service entity. To speak with a Chicago personal injury lawyer who is ready to help you, contact us at 312-981-0409 for a free consultation. We have five convenient locations to serve you – Arlington Heights, Libertyville, Chicago, Fox River Grove, and Itasca.

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