E Coli outbreaks becoming more common in Bengaluru
Bengaluru: A chicken rice bowl with popcorn chicken ordered online proved costly for Ramesh S. (name changed). “The taste was little off, but I thought it was okay. I was the only one who ate it. At night, I vomited everything. I went to the doctor and he said I have food poisoning,” said Ramesh, who had ordered the food from a well-known fast food joint in the city.
Not just this, 54 people were admitted to McGann Hospital, a government hospital attached to the Shivamogga Institute of Medical Sciences, on Saturday night with complaints of severe abdominal pain, vomiting and dysentery after they ate at a wedding ceremony in Jayanthi Nagar village in Davangere district on Saturday. Food poisoning, also called food-borne illness, is caused by eating contaminated food. “Bacteria are by far the most prevalent cause of food poisoning. There are three main types of food poisoning first, rapid food poisoning, where the bacteria spread rapidly, usually within six hours of food intake (such foods are generally not stored properly and then consumed), the second manifests after 12-24 hours of food intake and the bacteria would have invaded the intestinal mucosa, and the last one is a combination of both,” explained Dr Asima Banu, professor of microbiology at Bangalore Medical College (BMC).
She stressed that they are seeing cases of acute diarrhoea, which require admission and administering of IV fluids. “But they are not regular,” she said. Recent data put out by the Union Health Ministry’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) has indicated that food poisoning is one of the commonest outbreaks reported in 2017. “E Coli, a normal bacterium, is present in the intestinal flora and every cooked food has it. Some strains like E Coli 0157.H7 cause disease in people with low immunity, either old or very young people,” elaborates Dr Ansar Ahmed, Medical Superintendent, Epidemic Diseases Hospital. If a person is affected by the E Coli virus, the common symptoms do not occur immediately and generally take 3-4 days to manifest. Asking people to be cautious, Dr Asima warned, “Hand hygiene is extremely important and people should maintain hand hygiene. Also, proper cold storage and food handling are crucial.”