At least 35 players and several coaches from the Illinois State football team became ill with apparent food poisoning. The illnesses caused many of the players to miss practice. In addition, it seems that whatever caused the players to become ill has spread to other individuals on Illinois State’s campus.
According to a report from Randy Reinhardt of pantagraph.com:
“The carnage ended up being about 50 people, coaches, trainers, players, managers. It was unbelievable. I’ve never been through that before,” said Coach Brock Spack. “But what doesn’t kill us makes us tougher and better.”
The Redbirds even cleared out the Kaufman Football Building and disinfected the entire interior.
“Some of the volleyball players are sick. I’m hearing some other people on campus are sick,” Spack said. “I was one of the victims. It’s not a lot of fun. It’s pretty intense for about 24 hours.”
Food poisoning can be caused by a variety of microbes such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. Harmful toxins or chemicals present in food also may cause foodborne illness.
Different causes of food poisoning cause different symptoms, so there is no one syndrome that is foodborne illness; however, common symptoms include abdominal cramping, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, fever, headache, fatigue, and body aches.
Generally, after contaminated food is consumed there is a delay before food poisoning symptoms start. This delay is called the “incubation period”. The incubation period of a foodborne illness can range from less than an hour (which is rare) to days or weeks, and depends on the organism causing the illness and the amount ingested.