Symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, fever, runny diarrhea, abdominal cramping and pain, according to Mayo Clinic. The illness is especially risky for elderly people, pregnant women, children, and individuals with compromised immune systems. Food poisoning often causes extreme dehydration and may require hospital treatment with intravenous fluids.
It is possible for food poisoning to advance enough to cause death, notes Mayo Clinic. Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning caused by a specific bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes. It can be especially dangerous for children in utero and may result in miscarriages, stillbirth or death after birth. If Escherichia coli bacterium causes food poisoning, it can damage the kidneys to the point of organ failure.
People in high risk groups who experience bloody stools are encouraged to seek emergency medical attention. It may not be necessary for doctors to perform tests to diagnose food poisoning, but some cases may call for stool samples or blood tests, explains Mayo Clinic.
A person with food poisoning should be diligent about replacing lost fluids and managing electrolyte balance, notes Mayo Clinic. Some food poisonings require antibiotic treatment, such as listeriosis. A pregnant woman with food poisoning should seek antibiotic treatment as early as possible to preserve the health of her unborn baby.