Can Eating Fast Food Kill You?

The answer to this question is most certainly yes, eating fast food can kill you or at least make you very sick.

My answer is based on my own personal experiences. I have had food poison from eating at fast food restaurants and from buying from vending machines a couple of times. However, my greatest experience was from almost losing my grandson, Jacob, after he and some friends ate Buffalo chicken wings and chicken sandwiches from a fast food restaurant after school in December of 2016.

My grandson is 20 and taking college pre-med classes. He began having issues with diarrhea a few days after he and some friends stopped off after school for lunch at a fast food restaurant. My grandson had eaten a chicken sandwich. Unfortunately the food was laced with a very serious type of bacteria called  Campylobacter.

Although Jacob’s mom is a nurse, do to modesty, he didn’t tell her he was having diarrhea problems until a week had gone by. By this time Jacob had begun having episodes of fever and chills while the diarrhea was getting worse and he was becoming severely dehydrated. Jacob lives at home with his mom, but both he and his mom attend college. Jacob’s mom is taking classes to become a nurse practitioner and works two jobs as well so they don’t see much of each other.

When Jacob finally told his mom he had diarrhea and felt sick, she took my grandson to their family doctor where they said Jacob had a bug with flu-like symptoms, but no virus. They gave him intravenous fluids for the dehydration and sent him home. After another week and Jacob was getting no better his mom took him back to the doctor and once again they said the same thing. Jacob’s mom knew there was something more serious going on and took him to the emergency room at the hospital where she works as an ICU nurse.

After many tests the conclusion was an intestinal problem in his colon, but Jake continued getting worse and began having numbness in one side. He was coded blue and the ICU team was rushed in because they thought he may be having a stroke. Nothing was found so more tests were ordered and an infectious disease doctor was called in to look at the case. She called for another test.

The latest tests showed the emergency room doctor’s original diagnosis was off somewhat and that Jacob had a type of food poison called Campylobacter and the infectious disease doctor immediately placed Jacob on strong antibiotics.

Campylobacter are a group of germs (bacteria) that are a common cause of food poisoning. Food poisoning occurs when food or water contaminated with germs (microbes), poisons (toxins) or chemicals is eaten or drunk. Microbes include bacteria, viruses and parasites. A parasite is a living thing that lives in, or on, another living organism. Typically, food poisoning causes gastroenteritis, an infection of the gut (intestines). This leads to diarrhoea and sometimes also to being sick (vomiting). (Source: Patient.Info)

But, after still more tests they found that the Campylobacter infection had caused an active issue with severe colitis in Jacob’s colon. He continued to have fevers and they found that when he was given acetaminophen, the drug compound used in Tylenol, his fever would go up. His meds were switched to ibuprofen and his fever began staying down. After about two more weeks in the hospital Jacob was well enough to go home with continued treatments at home.

DHEC investigated the case to trace the cause of the infection and see if anyone else had contracted it. It turned out other folks including Jake’s friends who ate at the same restaurant had also become infected. Jacob has now made a full recovery, is back in school, and he also aquired his first job as a certified first responder with a paramedic team.

 

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