Las Vegas food poisoning and buffets pretty much go hand in hand, and there are a lot of buffets in Las Vegas. We treat many patients every month for food poisoning, as it can severely derail your vacation or conference in Las Vegas.
Most food poisoning is caused by a toxin secreted by a bacteria that is found on our hands, called Staph Aureus. This is where handwashing is so important. Basically, the bacteria goes from somebody’s hands into your food. If the food is not stored at the right conditions, the bacteria reproduces and churns out its toxin like gangbusters. If you ingest the toxin, about 4 to 8 hours afterwards, you will become violently ill.
The most common symptom of Las Vegas food poisoning is vomiting, as the body wants to eject the toxin. Some people also get diarrhea, chills, and muscle aches. Though, the muscle aches and chills are usually associated with a viral or bacterial infection.
The toxin is usually removed from the body in 24 to 36 hours, though patients typically feel bad for a few days afterwards because of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. The best remedy for food poisoning is IV therapy. When a person has severe nausea and vomiting, especially in the desert, it is hard to keep down any fluids and get your tank refilled. IV fluids, vitamins, and intravenous anti-nausea medications will help you feel much better and get back to your vacation much more quickly.
Other causes of food poisoning are viral and bacterial causes. Viral gastroenteritis is pretty common as well in Las Vegas, as there are big crowds of people in small spaces. Everybody is touching the same door handle, slot machine lever, etc. This is an easy way to transfer viruses, such as rotavirus, norovirus, etc. These viral illnesses usually have vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, chills, and fevers, as they usually causes more of a “whole body” response versus the toxin that mainly affects the stomach. Bacterial infections are the most severe cause of food poisoning. Salmonella and Shigella produce severe symptoms and often cause bloody diarrhea. Patients generally require antibiotics and IV therapy for this. These infections can be life threatening.
Las Vegas Food Poisoning
If you are in Las Vegas and want to avoid food poisoning, try to avoid partially cooked meat, such as sushi or steak tartar, especially on busy weekends. We see more food poisoning on busy weekends, as the kitchens are very busy and the level of oversight and attention to detail probably are not as high. If something doesn’t smell right or is not completely cooked, send it back and ask the staff for a replacement, they are generally happy to do so versus having an unhappy customer.
If you get food poisoning in Las Vegas, give the staff at Vita Heaven Urgent Care a ring. We can do complete IV therapy in the comfort of your hotel room and we also have a free shuttle service to bring you to our clinic.