Is it Food Poisoning or the Flu?
There are few things to compare to the misery of being sick to your stomach. Our digestive systems are tremendously sensitive to things that don’t belong in them, and will strenuously reject both viruses and bacteria. A stomach virus is a contagious illness that can be spread from person to person, while other digestive system illnesses can be caused by bacteria or parasites that are generally transmitted through the food that we eat. Though the only things that can be done to protect yourself against a stomach virus are to practice good hygiene around an infected person and to carefully wash hands and all surfaces or objects where viruses may remain after having been touched by a contagious person, the same is not true of food poisoning. Food poisoning only happens when harmful organisms are transferred into food, whether before or during the time they first enter the market, the way that they are stored or handled on the way to market, or during the course of preparation. If you are feeling ill, it is important that you understand whether you are suffering from food poisoning or the flu. This is not only essential for making sure that you get the appropriate medical treatment, but also so that you know what legal options may be available to you.
The symptoms of a stomach virus generally include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and stomach cramps. Many people will also experience headaches, body aches, low-grade fever and dizziness. The symptoms generally appear over a gradual period of time, and often in an environment where other people are also ill. By contrast, food poisoning appears within six hours of eating. Though it is not something that is shared by people in the same environment, it can be shared by people who have eaten food from the same source, whether that is food purchased at a market or prepared by a restaurant (or even in your own kitchen).
Food poisoning can be minor and can clear up very quickly, often in a matter of a few hours to a few days. It can also take a much more serious turn, requiring hospitalization. It may even lead to serious physical injuries. In any given year, of the 48 million Americans who suffer from food poisoning approximately 128,000 will require hospitalization and 3,000 will die. Food poisoning is particularly dangerous for people who have weak immune systems, as well as for infants, children and the elderly.
People who have been impacted by serious and harmful food poisoning do have the right to sue those who are responsible. This may be a restaurant, a retailer or a wholesaler that sells contaminated food products. A personal injury lawsuit would seek compensation for damages suffered, including medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses incurred.
If you have suffered these types of damages as a result of food poisoning, the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can provide you with all of the information you need about your rights and the compensation to which you may be entitled. Call us today to set up a free consultation.