5 Life-Threatening Foodborne Illnesses in Australia

5 Dangerous Foodborne Diseases that are Common in Australia

24 Aug 2023 5282 6 minutes

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We often go to the restaurants to eat delicious food. But sometimes we do complain about the stomach ache, diarrhea or food poisoning. Have you ever faced any of these problems? Probably your answer would be yes because these issues are very much common in the 21st century. According to the annual report of circa 2010, 4.1 million cases of foodborne illnesses were registered in that particular year. The report also reveals that 86 people died due to foodborne diseases in Australia. This is not an issue with a specific country, but the whole world is facing the similar problem. So read this blog to become a bit more cautious about these five most common foodborne diseases in Australia.

1.) Campylobacter

This bacteria causes an illness called Campylobacteriosis and its symptoms include fever, vomiting( bloody), diarrhea, and stomach cramps, which appear within two to five days after contamination.
Campylobacter is pretty much sensitive to the stomach's average production of hydrochloric acid, so larger amount of bacteria is required to make a person ill. But, if the person is taking antacid medication, then he is at higher risk of contracting the disease from a smaller amount of organism. Many a time, a person may not experience any of the symptoms mentioned above because of his robust immune system, but a person with compensated immunity is more likely to suffer from the infection.

2.) Norovirus

It is a contagious virus and may spread from an infected person, contaminated food, surfaces, or water. It causes inflammation in your stomach or intestines or both as a consequence of which you may suffer from severe vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach ache. The symptoms appear within 12 to 48 hours after the exposure. Young children and older people are more vulnerable to norovirus than any other similar disease.

3.) E. coli

Escherichia coli( E. coli) contamination is the most common among all bacterial diseases. These are the large and diverse group of bacteria, majority of which are harmless but some of the strains can make you severely sick. E. coli O157:H7, is the most dangerous than the others. It has been found that the healthy adults can recover from the infection with E. coli O157:H7 within five to seven days, but it is life-threatening in case of young children and old people. They may develop a deadly form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Symptoms of E. Coli contamination may vary person to person, but severe stomach cramps, mild fever, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting are some of the common signs of infection.

4.) Non-typhoidal Salmonella

This bacteria is commonly present in raw food products that come from animals such as eggs, milk, meat, and other dairy products. The typical symptoms that appear in the person affected by this disease are diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps which develop within twelve to seventy-two hours after being infected. In case of diarrhea, there are chances of the Salmonella infection to spread in the blood stream from the intestines and then to other body sites. This can ultimately cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. So, if a person has any immunodeficiency, then he must keep a distance from touching the animals or reptiles as their skin might contain this bacteria on it.

5.) Listeria

The bacterial disease is caused by Listeria monocytogenes and is less common than the above-mentioned foodborne illnesses. Although the number of people affected by this disease is very less, this is considered to be the most deadly disease as the person doesn't usually show any typical symptoms of stomachache, diarrhea, nausea, or of any other sign of food poisoning. The above statement means that the people often don’t know that they have Listeriosis for a long time until it shows up as something much more severe, usually meningitis or septicemia. It is hazardous for the elderly or a person with compromised immunity. Also, a pregnant woman should be more cautious against this disease as it can even be passed on to the unborn baby.

It is said that ‘Precaution is better than cure’. The above blog has briefed you about the most common pathogens found in food materials and how they affect the people of different age strata. Hope you eat well and stay healthy!

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