Bacterial Agents Causing Food Poisoning among Patients Attending Thika Level 5 Hospital, Kiambu County, Kenya
Esther, Karanja N.
Nelson, Menza C.
Ephantus, Kabiru W.
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Food poisoning is caused by the ingestion of contaminated food or water that contains microbial agents that cause illness or release their toxins onto the food. Examples of these microbial agents are Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogens, Clostridium botulinum, Salmonella typhiridium, and Salmonella enteritidis. Epidemiological monitoring of food poisoning is highly desirable for continuous determination of the existing causative species and disease trends. The study was conducted at Thika level 5 hospital. The objective of the study was to establish the prevalence of food poisoning at Thika level 5 hospital. A cross-sectional study design and purposive sampling technique was adopted in this study. Interview scheduled questionnaires and collection of stool samples from in-patients presenting with suspected food poisoning at Thika level 5, hospital was used for data collection. Stool culture tests were used to identify the bacterial causative agents of food poisoning. Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) was used in the analysis of the data. Ethical approval was sought from Kenyatta University Ethical Review Committee, the Ministry of Education Science and Technology and Kiambu County Government. Informed consent was sought from the respondents after they had been informed about the study. The study findings showed that of the sample taken 28 (26.4%) were positive of Cholera while 78 (73.6%) were positive of Salmonella. The study recommends early set-up of emergency wards to contain outbreaks of infectious diseases together with well-equipped diagnostic labs for prompt response.