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Assessment of Trends of Food-Borne Disease Outbreaks in the US: Causes, Impacts, and Control Strateg

Major Causes of Food-Borne Diseases

Assessment of the trends of food borne disease outbreaks by region, etiology and environment

The C.D.C. report indicates that one person in every six Americans gets infected with food-borne diseases. Besides, the C.D.C. has identified thirty-one known food pathogens causing food-borne illnesses. Scallan et al. (2011) argue that the 31 pathogens identified in the U.S. caused over 9.4 million food-borne diseases, 55,961 hospitalization cases, and 1,351 deaths in the U.S. by 2011. Norovirus was the primary contributing food-borne disease with 58% illness seconded by nontyphoidal Salmonella spp. that contributed to 11%. Other pathogens like clostridium contributed to 10% of the food-borne disease illness, and Campylobacter spp. 9% (Scallan et al., 2011). However, the study also indicates that nontyphoidal Salmonella spp. was the leading cause of hospitalization, contributing to 35% of the hospitalized cases, Norovirus contributing to 26% of the hospitalized patients. Campylobacter spp. contributed to 15% of and Toxoplasma gondii 8% of the hospitalized cases. Moreover, nontyphoidal Salmonella spp. was the leading cause of death by 28%, followed by T. gondii and Listeria monocytogenes contributing to 24% and 19%, respectively. Norovirus, despite having the largest cases, only contributed to 11% of the deaths. Therefore, the reports indicate that the 32 known pathogens are a major threat in contributing to food-borne diseases, with Norovirus, salmonella spp., T. Gondi, clostridium, and Campylobacter being the major causes.

However, unspecified agents include microbes, chemicals, and other substances, also cause immense food-borne diseases. They contributed to 38.4 million cases of food-borne illnesses in the United States, 71,878 hospitalization, and 1,686 deaths by 2011. Therefore, the statistics indicate that food-borne illnesses are one of the major causes of illnesses and deaths in the United States (C.D.C., 2018). 

The impacts of unsafe food have cost most of the low and middle-income economies in the U.S. The United States spend an average of $15.6 billion every year on controlling food-borne diseases (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). The economy of the United States is affected by the food born diseases through the increased expenditure on medication, prevention measures, and the impacts of reduced sales and job losses. Major causes of food-borne diseases are ingestion of food and beverages contaminated by pathogens like viruses, bacteria, fungi, and sometimes chemicals and other unknown agents (Bisht et al., 2021). The risk factors that cause contamination include; taking food from unsafe sources, poor hygiene and health, contaminated and dirty utensils, improper cooking, and boiling temperatures. Studies indicate that unsafe food hygiene can cause social unrest, affect the food market, even affect the international image, and cause economic losses to exports (Schroeder et al.., 2021). Therefore, food-borne diseases need to be addressed with high propriety due to the impacts they have on the economy and individual health.

Jaffee et al. (2018) discuss that unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of malnutrition and diseases which affect people of all ages. They also emphasize that the social, economic development of many nations and specifically the United States, have been slowed down by food-borne illness due to the straining health care system. Sectors like tourism and trade face major challenges resulting from these issues. However, W.H.O. and the United States government are working hard to ensure access to sufficient safe and nutritious food which would sustain and promote good health. Diarrhoea and vomiting have been the major symptoms characterized by food-borne diseases. For instance, an infection from Salmonella typhi causes typhoid fever which leads to diarrhoea and vomiting, constipation, headache, and abdominal pain. Abdul-Mutalib et al. (2014) argue that food-borne diseases cause diarrhoea and vomiting among the infected individual taking one to seven days. Besides, most patients with diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms end up dehydrating where in most cases leads to death when not addressed in time. 

Dehydration is life-threatening to children, older adults, and immune comprised individuals. Many patients report signs of abdominal cramps, nausea, joint/backaches, fever, and fatigue,which accompanies diarrhoea and vomiting in those people infected by food-borne diseases (Ishaq et al., 2021). Moreover, food poisoning by salmonella bacterium causes bacterial infections that result in reactive arthritis, a joint pain that occurs to a person after recovering from bacterial infections. Shigella and Campylobacter cause gastrointestinal illness, while Chlamydia trachomatis causes sexually transmitted diseases. Besides, Guillain-Barré syndrome results from campylobacter infections, and E. Coli causes hemolytic uremic syndrome and renal complications (Bisht et al., 2021). Therefore, food-borne illness is accompanied by major health concerns which cause death and hospitalization of individuals leading to increased medical expenditure.

The main purpose of the study is to evaluate the trends of food-borne disease outbreaks by region, etiology, and environment in the U.S. states using the National Outbreak Public Data Tool.

1.To determine the trends of outbreaks of food-borne diseases in different regions, environmental food-related behaviors, and different etiological factors in the USA.

2.To evaluate the association between of environmental factors and etiology 

3.To evaluate the association between of region factors and etiology

4.To examine how environmental food-related behaviors result in different etiological factors causing outbreaks of food-borne diseases in different regions.

5.To examine the impact of environmental food-related behavior and etiological factors in causing food-borne diseases in different regions and formulate effective prevention and control strategies.

The quantitative data collected on the trends of food borne disease outbreaks in different US states from 2009 to 2019 by month, primary mode, environmental food related behaviours and etiology will be analyzed using SAS software. However, thematic methods such as codebook thematic analysis, reflexive thematic analysis and coding reliability thematic analysis would be used to analyze qualitative data collected on causes, impacts, and strategies for controlling food borne disease outbreaks in different regions. However, we shall determine the trends of outbreaks of food-borne diseases in different regions, environmental food-related behaviors, and different etiological factors in the USA. 


Previous studies indicate that different etiological and environmental related behaviours contribute to different trends in food borne disease outbreaks. The study will be carried in different regions to hence examining trends in food borne diseases which would be effective in formulating strategies to prevent and control food borne diseases.

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