In 2008, an Associated Press article featuring one of Stop’s volunteer advocates, Alyssa Chrobuck, highlighted the need for increased awareness and research of the long-term health consequences of foodborne illness. At age 5, Alyssa was hospitalized as a result of E. coli poisoning, the source of which was tainted hamburger from a fast food restaurant.
Alyssa, now an adult, suffers from a myriad of health problems including high blood pressure, chronic colon inflammation, and endometriosis.
Included in the article was this statement from Dr. Robert Tauxe of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Folks often assume once you’re over the acute illness, that’s it, you’re back to normal and that’s the end of it. [The long-term consequences] are an important but relatively poorly documented, poorly studied area of foodborne illness.”
Stop Foodborne Illness has been engaged in research of long-term consequences since 2008.
Chronic diseases such as Guillain-Barré (Ghee-yan Bah-ray) Syndrome (GBS) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) have evidence of a well-established correlation with prior diagnosis of foodborne illness. While these correlations are established, research in this field is still emerging. There are many unknowns and STOP has an obligation to add to the collective knowledge.
We are a resource for those in-crisis and post-crisis, and researching long-term consequences allows us to effectively assist our constituent advocates.
If you were previously diagnosed with a foodborne illness, and are interested in participating in future research studies or have any questions about potential participation, please contact Kiley Doherty at email@example.com.
A small number of persons with Campylobacter, Shigella, or Salmonella infections develop pain in their joints, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination called Reactive Arthritis. This arthritic inflammation can last for months or years and can lead to chronic arthritis, which is difficult to treat.
Listeria infections can lead to meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain. If a newborn infant or fetus is infected with Listeria, long-term consequences may include mental retardation, seizures, paralysis, blindness, or deafness.
Foodborne bacterial infections can also precipitate Guillain-Barré syndrome — a rare disorder that affects the nerves of the body. This occurs when a person’s immune system attacks the body’s own nerves.
It can result in paralysis that lasts several weeks and usually requires intensive care. As many as 40% of Guillain-Barré syndrome cases in the U.S. may be triggered by a Campylobacter infection.
If you or a loved one has been affected by any of these long-term complications, we would like to hear your story.
You can share it here.
You can reach us by phone: 773-269-6555 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.