Annually, 48 million Americans get sick from food borne illness and 3 thousand die from it according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Salmonella poisoning has been responsible for 28% of deaths and 60% of illnesses were caused by the norovirus.
Norovirus infections attack the stomach causing outbursts of vomiting and diarrhea. Despite their patients displaying symptoms of the norovirus, doctors will typically refuse to put them on antibiotics because there is no real treatment. In fact, symptoms typically disappear within a couple days. Norovirus infections are some of the most prominent food borne illnesses.
Today we have a better idea of the pathogens that cause certain infections. In 1999 there was a larger report on food borne illnesses. Food borne illnesses have dropped because of the change in quality and quantity of data and new methods used to estimate food borne diseases.
Data from CDC’s Footnet surveillance system, which tracks trends of common food borne pathogens, shows a 20% decrease in illnesses from main pathogens during the past 10 years. However Foodnet Pathogens account for only a small number of illnesses in the new data.
Dr.Chris Braden, director of CDC’s Division of Food borne, Waterborne, and Environmental diseases, says “for many of these diseases we know what interventions work to prevent them and we need to do more to lower the impact of these diseases in the United States”. To even prevent one percent from getting sick would keep 500,000 people from getting sick each year.
Food poisoning causes billions of dollars in health care costs and costs a lot for the patient as well. Food outbreaks such as this are usually due to sloppiness in food processing. When preparing foods, separate meats from other produce, cook poultry at the right temperature for the right time, and make sure leftovers are refrigerated immediately.