HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — South Texas Health System’s Family Medicine Specialist Eduardo Candanosa said there has been an increase in foodborne illnesses at local hospitals and emergency clinics. 

According to Candanosa, those cases are expected to rise this summer because bacteria grows faster with hot and humid temperatures. 

“During the year, usually the respiratory infections we see the most during the winter times and food-borne infections, food poisoning we see more during the summertime,” he said.  

Candanosa said the severity of symptoms varies depending on one’s immune system.

“The condition can be very mild and the patient can actually improve sometimes without medicines, just a little bit of proper hydration,” he said. “However, sometimes the condition is severe and the patient needs to go to the hospital for medical attention.”

Candanosa said the following are the most common symptoms to be on the lookout for:

  • abdominal discomfort
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

According to Candanosa, those symptoms take a couple of hours to experience. If you do experience food poisoning, he encourages you to stay hydrated.

“The patient gets dehydrated the patient feels really bad, weak, headache fatigue along with your symptoms.”

To minimize the risk of food poisoning, Candanosa said you should wash your hands and clean all cooking surfaces and utensils.

“The pathogens can survive and live on the surface for a while, we need to use an antibacterial, there are plenty of brands out there,” he said.

Candanosa also encourages you to use a different sponge to clean dishes and cooking surfaces.