Not again

Jun 28, 2004

The headache started around 5, and my balance seemed off then, too (though bumping into boxes in a just-moved-in house isn’t so alarming). By 10:45, I was miserable, moaning, sweating. And, sure enough, at 11 I was kneeling at the toilet, vomiting whatever microbe I’d ingested earlier in the day. Food toxin poisoning – something I’ve experienced 4 times now – is horrible, but brief, but oh those 20 minutes at the end feel like death is descending. Read up on food-related illness at the CDC so you don’t get sick.

Google Scholar tells me this article, Food-Related Illness and Death in the United States, is the most cited for papers on food poisoning. From the abstract:

We estimate that foodborne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. Known pathogens account for an estimated 14 million illnesses, 60, 000 hospitalizations, and 1,800 deaths. Three pathogens, Salmonella, Listeria, and Toxoplasma, are responsible for 1,500 deaths each year, more than 75% of those caused by known pathogens, while unknown agents account for the remaining 62 million illnesses, 265,000 hospitalizations, and 3,200 deaths. Overall, foodborne diseases appear to cause more illnesses but fewer deaths than previously estimated.

[Edited 2/28/05: added Google Scholar graph and abstract.]

Anton Zuiker

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