In this case study, an elderly individual dines at a fast food restaurant after working all day on their farm. According to the individual’s spouse, the meal was a chicken dish that had an unusual smell and appearance.
Shortly after eating, the individual experienced symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Believing these symptoms would subside with rest, the couple retired for the evening.
Four days later, they were hospitalized after being found lethargic at home. The presence of Listeria Monocytogenes, a bacterium often associated with foodborne illnesses, was confirmed by medical tests.
Questions to the Infectious and Communicable Disease expert and their responses
How often do you treat food poisoning patients?
As an infectious disease specialist with board certification and clinical training from leading medical centers, I encounter cases of food poisoning occasionally.
However, it’s important to note that ‘food poisoning’ is a broad term encompassing various conditions. While most are relatively mild and self-limited, Listeriosis is a more specific and potentially severe disease that can manifest as acute gastroenteritis or an invasive disease.
What aspects of the records would be relevant in determining why a patient was hospitalized with the above-described symptoms following food consumption?
To determine why this patient was hospitalized, several factors need consideration. These include the exact type of food consumed (e.g., fried chicken, chicken salad), the quantity ingested, and the time between presumed exposure and diagnosis (the incubation period).
Additionally, any pre-existing symptoms before eating the meal (such as dehydration reports and an ER visit) would be crucial information. If there are records of other individuals exhibiting similar symptoms after eating at the same establishment, that would also be beneficial.
About the expert
This expert is a highly qualified professional in the field of infectious diseases, with board certification in both internal medicine and infectious diseases. Their academic background includes a BS in Chemistry, an MS in Public Health, and an MD, followed by an esteemed internship, residency, and fellowship at renowned medical institutions. Currently serving as an assistant professor at a top medical school, they have contributed significantly to academia with over 35 peer-reviewed journal articles and extensive presentations on infectious disease topics.