Thursday, October 23, 2014


No one wants food poisoning. But at times, being told you have food poisoning may actually be good news. That is, if you were beginning to think you had Ebola.

Symptoms of food poisoning can appear similar to those of Ebola in its early stages.

Here are the most common symptoms of Ebola (source: CDC): fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal (stomach) pain, unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising).

Now, let’s compare the most common symptoms of food poisoning caused by Norovirus – also called “stomach flu” although it is not related to influenza: fever, headache, other body aches, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain. Notice that "unexplained hemorrhage" is not among the symptoms of Norovirus, but it is not present during the early stages of Ebola either.

Let’s take another common type of food poisoning, the one causes by various Salmonella bacteria, some more deadly than others. Common symptoms include: fever, headache, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps.

My point – unless you are in West Africa, have recently returned from West Africa where you might have been in contact with Ebola patients, or, have recently had close - and I mean VERY close - contact with an Ebola patient in another part of the world (not just shared a plane, but shared body fluids), relax! Those symptoms you are having could just be food poisoning (or, malaria, or some other nasty disease). But not Ebola.

To your good health,


1 comment:

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