Physicians may finally be able to differentiate between the stomach flu and food poisoning. LuminexR has gained FDA approval for a test that can detect 11 common bacterial, viral and parasitic causes of infectious diarrhea.
How often have you heard someone say, “ I must have eaten something that caused me to get sick” or “ I just had a touch of the stomach flu”? It has been difficult for physicians to know for sure what the patient has, so they, like you have been simply guessing based upon history or symptoms. Both conditions can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pain and fever. Some forms of food poisoning can cause blood in the stool from invasion of the bowel wall but both can cause traces of blood in the vomitus or the stool. This test changes that and should increase accuracy in diagnosis.
The test detects Campylobacter, Clostridium difficile toxin, E coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and Shiga-like toxin, 2 viruses (norovirus and rotavirus A) and 2 parasites (Cryptosporidium and Giardia with a reported 90% accuracy. These pathogens cause the majority of food poisoning. This becomes a great diagnostic tool. Notably absent from the list is E.Coli, a very important and toxic bacteria. As well there some very infrequent but potentially infections not tested. So it will not be 100% inclusive.
Next time you wonder if it is the stomach flu or food poisoning, ask your doctor to run a simple test and in 5 hours you will know. Perhaps with this rapid test we will be able to gather better statistics on the incidence of food poisoning.
This is not a commercial and we don’t have any financial interests in the company.
Dr. H. Stueven