Safety and Community Care

Handout 1: For Community Volunteers and Participants

Food borne illness often referred as food poisoning or foodborne diseases are a common, life threatening and costly phenomenon but very preventable health hazards. Community safety against these diseases is vital to growing a healthy society (Cockerham, 2014). The presence of harmful and poisonous chemicals can bring food poisoning if present in the food. Contamination of food by the various disease causing germs has been the primary cause of foodborne infections. This paper purposes to provide facts and related information about the conditions and how the risk of disease can be reduced.

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In the United States of America, salmonella is the single bacteria responsible for over one million cases of illnesses reported annually. According to a Centre for Disease Control (CDC) report, one million annual illnesses are reported with 19000 hospitalizations and an annual death estimate of 380 (Mowry et al., 2016). Salmonella is of different types, and in particular, Salmonella Typhimurium causes typhoid. Typhoid is a blood infection that occurs when a person ingests food or drinks water contaminated with the Salmonella bacterium Typhimurium. It is transmitted through contact with an individual with the faeces of an infected person.It is thus mostly human to a human type of transmission. The bacterium spends an average of two weeks in the human intestines before finding its way into the bloodstream through perforation of the intestinal walls.

The symptoms of typhoid set in between the first week and one month after exposure to the bacterium. The rash is one of the symptoms although it doesn’t manifest itself in all patients (Nathan, 2012). The neck and the abdomen get rose colored spots. The other major symptom is the fever which is and could reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of several days. Body weakness, headaches and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea are also symptoms of typhoid. Some patients recover without treatment, but if the illness is left untreated, the walls of the intestines can become perforated and cause other abdominal complications. Besides, diarrhea if unattended to could be fatal due to dehydration.

The disease can be treated mainly by use of antibiotics. Antibiotics prescribed by a medical practitioner should be adhered to. Another way for self-treatment is through rehydration of the body to replenish the water lost through sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea by drinking enough clean water. Citizens of America traveling to Africa, South America, and Asia are encouraged to practice preventive measures to avoid contracting the disease. Such countries have few washing facilities and less access to clean water and are vulnerable to typhoid breakouts. Members of the society are advised to

  • Ensure that they drink carbonated bottled water
  • Raw fruits and vegetables should be avoided and personally peel your fruit.
  • Boil water if bottled water is not available
  • Total avoidance of eating at unhygienic street eateries.
  • Vaccination against typhoid through the oral live attenuated vaccine or shot inactivated vaccine.

Research plays a pivotal role in any science related solution. Researchers are spending sleepless nights to counter the antibiotic resistance nature and improve the performance of available drugs (Laxminarayan et al., 2013). This is aimed at providing a solution to those suffering from the illness. A 35% resistance rate has been established for salmonella Typhimurium to key medications such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, ampicillin, and ciprofloxacin.

Handout 2: For Community Health Care Providers

Illnesses associated with ingestion of foods contaminated with disease causing microbes and pathogens are referred to as foodborne infections. Food poisoning which is caused by consumption of food containing harmful chemicals is also categorized as a foodborne illness. (Potter & Hotchkiss, 2012).  These diseases pose a threat to the innocent and ignorant members of the society. It is the responsibility of health care providers and medical-practitioners to create awareness and keep the citizenry safe from these preventable diseases. The disease is sometimes fatal and costly in the cases of hospitalizations and purchasing of drugs supplies by patients. This paper seeks to bring out the clear information of how the risks caused by these diseases can be reduced.

Several foodborne germs affect the populace of America at different extents. These include botulism, Listeria, Vibrio, Escherichia coli and Salmonella (Nyenje & Ndip, 2013). The paper focuses on Salmonella which in its various strains cause annual illnesses of up to 1 million and 19000 cases of hospitalized patient and annual death of 380. Salmonella typhimurium is one of the serotypes of is often called Salmonella typhi. It is the causative bacterium for typhoid which is a blood infection.

Typhoid is a disease that has been discovered to kill 25 percent of patients if left untreated. Significantly if treatment is administered on time, the death rate reduces to below 4%. When S.typhi reaches the blood, it is transported to the organs and tissues of the body and can live with the host cells and thus minimal effect from the immune system. The symptoms of typhoid include high fever reaching a high of 104 Fahrenheit, rash on the abdominal and neck regions having rose-colored spots and vomiting. Constipation. Headaches and diarrhea are also symptomatic to typhoid (Feasey& Gordon, 2013). Paratyphoid caused by another strain of salmonella called Salmonella enterica has similar symptoms, and patients suffer similar severity.

Diagnosis involves the analysis of samples of blood, urine, bone marrow or stool to detect the presence of Salmonella typhimurium. The most and perhaps only treatment of typhoid is the use of antibiotics. Two major antibiotics that have been used are ceftriaxone and ciprofloxacin. Drinking clean, safe water is also a way to treat the adversity of the disease. Prevention has now been advocated for and the following recommended

  • Fruits and vegetables eaten raw should be avoided or peel the fruit personally.
  • When traveling to typhoid prone areas vaccination should be administered.
  • Exercise total avoidance of street foods

In the recent times, most bacteria have been reported to be resistant to antibiotics. Typhoid has become resistant to the traditionally administered antibiotics of ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Another essential medication of the disease ciprofloxacin has also been reported to face a 35% resistance from Typhimurium. Research also shows that the bacterium can live with macrophages a part of the immune system in the host tissues making it difficult for the immune system to eliminate it (Feasey, 2013). During treatment and finding of the source of outbreaks, care must be taken to include the asymptomatic carriers. Their bodies have the ability to harbor the bacterium without them suffering or showing the symptoms. They, therefore, could infect others without being noticed.

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Safety and community care. (2019, Oct 10). Retrieved January 29, 2023 , from

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