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New guide explains food-borne illnesses

April 7, 2004 at 8:50 PM

WASHINGTON, April 7 (UPI) -- A guide for health care professionals on how to identify and treat food-borne illnesses was released Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

"Approximately 76 million Americans suffer from a food-borne illness every year, and 5,000 deaths each year are attributed to food-borne illness," said Cecil B. Wilson, a trustee of the, American Medical Association.

"Arming physicians with the latest information on food-borne illnesses helps them better diagnose and treat their patients."

The guide is called: "Diagnosis and Management of Food-borne Illnesses: A Primer for Physicians and Other Health Care Professionals."

"Recent concerns about hepatitis A and noro virus outbreaks have emphasized the need for health professionals to be vigilant for food-borne pathogens, and this need is further emphasized by concerns about intentional contamination of food," said David Acheson with the Food and Drug Administration.

Experts said more than 75 percent of food-borne illness deaths are caused by just three pathogens: salmonella, listeria and toxoplasma.

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