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"How long would food poisoning last and what are the symptoms?"

ZocdocAnswersHow long would food poisoning last and what are the symptoms?


A few days ago I are a questionable meal that caused me to vomit for an entire day. Now, which is two days later, I still feel nauseous when I stand for a few moments and have a pain across the length of my stomach. Any ideas as to what it might be it is it just food poisoning?


Thank you for your question regarding food poisoning and I encourage you to visit your doctor. The duration of a food borne illness depends on what type of microbe is responsible for the illness. Bacteria are the most common cause of food poisoning. There are a number of different bacteria which can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. Some common bacteria that cause food poisoning can include Campylobacter, E. Coli, and Salmonella. Usually symptoms of food poisoning are not evident until a few days after ingestion of contaminated food because it takes some time for bacteria to multiply. Staphylococcus is a bacteria which is an exception to this because it produces a preformed toxin; therefore, symptoms can appear just a few hours after ingestion of contaminated food. Viruses can also cause food poisoning. You may have heard about the stomach bug known as norovirus which has caused outbreaks that are often the subject of news coverage. Compared to bacteria, viruses tend to cause symptoms a little later after ingestion of contaminated food. They can also cause an infected person to experience a longer duration of symptoms. If you have traveled recently to a foreign country, parasites can also be a less common, but possible, cause for food poisoning. However, there are a number of other potential explanations for experiencing vomiting and abdominal pain. I would encourage you to visit your doctor who can explore your symptoms in better detail and perform a physical exam.

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