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food poisoning

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

Dehydration

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There is more to dehydration than just being very thirsty. When your body doesn’t get enough water, it cannot function properly. When you become dehydrated, it can be mild or severe. It all depends on how much fluid is missing from your body. It is normal to lose water throughout the day. It can happen when you sweat, when you cry, when you go to the bathroom, and even when you breathe. There are certain situations where you can lose too much water, and it can become a hazard to your health.

  • Diarrhea: When you have diarrhea, your intestinal tract cannot absorb water from the foods that you eat. Over time, this can result in severe dehydration.
  • Vomiting: If you have the flu or food poisoning, excessive vomiting can make it impossible to keep food and liquids down. This can quickly result in dehydration.
  • Excessive sweating: If you are sweating excessively, whether it be due to a fever, intense exercise, or being out in the hot sun, you can lose more water from your body than you can put in. This can quickly result in dehydration.
  • Frequent urination: There are certain drugs that can cause you to urinate frequently. Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol can also cause you to urinate excessively. This can cause you to become seriously dehydrated.

Signs of Mild Dehydration

If you become mildly dehydrated, you will experience a few minor symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Thirst
  • A dry mouth
  • Dark, yellow urine
  • Dry skin
  • A mild headache
  • Muscle cramps

Signs of Severe Dehydration

The signs of severe hydration are more noticeable. These are signs that your body is becoming dangerously low on fluids and if you don’t replenish the water in your body soon, your health could be in jeopardy. Signs of severe dehydration include:

  • No need to urinate
  • Dark, yellow urine
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid breathing
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Sunken eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Tiring very easily
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Low blood pressure

Treatment For Dehydration

The treatment for dehydration would depend on how dehydrated you are. If you are experiencing symptoms of mild dehydration, you would just need to sit down in a cool area and drink water. It can take drinking two quarts of water over a period of two to four hours to replenish the fluids that you have lost.

If you are suffering from symptoms of severe dehydration, you may need to seek medical assistance. In severe cases, you may not be able to get the amount of water that you need in your body fast enough by drinking alone. In severe cases, you should go to the hospital where you would be given IV fluids for several hours until you have replenished the water in your body.

How To Prevent Dehydration

Preventing dehydration is much safer than becoming dehydrated and then needing to treat it. There are several ways that you can prevent dehydration.

  • Try to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. This will keep hydrated.
  • If you are vomiting, have a fever, or if you have diarrhea that lasts for longer than a day or two, seek medical attention. You may need IV fluids to keep from becoming dehydrated.
  • If you are going to be outside in the hot sun, bring along enough water. Try to drink 10 ounces of water every 30 minutes.
  • Drink water while you are exercising.

Dehydration can be very dangerous and in some cases, deadly. It is important to know the signs of dehydration and what you should do if you beleive that you are becoming dehydrated.

 

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Understanding Foodborne Outbreaks

frozen-vegetables-and-canned-fruit

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A foodborne outbreak occurs when there are two or more cases of confirmed illness after consumption of a specific food product. These outbreaks involve the CDC as well as other public health officials as staff members try to control, manage and prevent these types of occurrences. Many times, investigative work is needed in order to determine the scope of the outbreak, the extent and the original source. Learning from each situation is what helps prevent these outbreaks from occurring again in the future.

Investigation

Once reports are made that a foodborne illness was contracted, public health officials work with regulatory officials to collect a large amount of data. They want to know what the food or product was that caused the illness, what were the symptoms, what was the outcome, what batch was this from and so on. This information will be used long term for better quality control and regulations that are enforced by the U.S. Sometimes a recall will need to be issued in order to prevent more people from getting sick. Often times, a warning is all that is needed.

Some data will point specifically to a foodborne outbreak and this includes:

  • A pattern to the illness. Either all the cases were in a short period of time or from the same germ.
  • A larger number of people are ill within the same area than normal.
  • People who otherwise have no connection to one another are ill but ate at the same restaurant or purchased the same product.
  • Common point of confirmed contamination.
  • A certain germ of pathogen is found at a suspected restaurant or store.

Prevention

Ultimately, United States regulatory agencies want to protect the public and prevent foodborne outbreaks from occurring again. Investigation is important when an outbreak occurs, but ongoing research is also part of successful prevention. While not every case of foodborne outbreak is solved, many times there is at least a suspected source of the problem. This leads to better prevention at food producing facilities but also better prevention and investigation methods on a nationwide level.

Ongoing Reporting And Monitoring

An original complaint or report comes from a local or state level in most instances. From there, public health authorities will investigate the claim and involve the CDC when multiple states have become affected by a certain issue. Reports are compiled that include the number of illnesses that are present, hospitalizations, deaths, symptoms, toxins and chemicals that may have caused the issue.

Common symptoms of a foodborne outbreak typically include symptoms that are similar to food poisoning. Stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, aches, etc. Seeking medical assistance can help reduce the severity and danger of the illness and can also lead to preventing other people from getting sick. It takes many different people to prevent foodborne outbreaks from occurring. It starts with the farms that produce our food and ends with the location selling and manufacturing our food. Proper quality control and agricultural practices are ideal for keeping everyone in the United States safe.

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