A temperature of 42 and a rapid heartbeat… My son’s condition deteriorated in half an hour. “I felt the world was finished.”


Half an hour turned his life, from a normal temperature to a high fever of 42.7, a racing heartbeat and a physical breakdown. His body could no longer tolerate the symptoms that would have killed him had he not been in the hospital.From a message inside the hospital, Fadl’s mother, Zahraa, addressed all mothers and families, warning them “not to eat anything outside the house.” In connection with “An-Nahar” she said, “The consciences of officials cannot be relied upon, and it seems that the consciences of merchants cannot be relied upon either. We no longer know what to eat, as corruption is present even in our food, “and no one is sympathetic to our condition.”

Her cry today shook the pain of many, this story is not new, it is repeated chapters and successively between high temperature and hospitalization and viral or bacterial poisoning. What we eat is not clean, what we drink is not clean? Who knows? Where is the oversight? Where is the food safety file that was raised for a while before its mention disappeared forever.

Is it hot weather? Are foods improperly preserved in light of electricity rationing? Are viruses and bacteria in this season? Are all of these factors combined? Each case has its own diagnosis, and it is not possible to generalize, but rather to raise awareness, as food poisoning may lead to death in the event of delay in diagnosis or neglect of symptoms that may rapidly worsen.

Zahraa recounts, “Half an hour was enough to draw horrific scenarios. Fadel ate a cheese manoush at five in the afternoon, the hours passed and there was no cause for concern. Everything was normal, except that suddenly he started vomiting at three in the morning. This case, before I go to the hospital as a precaution, because I know in this field.”

Fadl went to the emergency room and had a blood test done. Meanwhile, I was looking for the nearest hospital or laboratory to do a rapid test so that I would be allowed to stay with it. Fadl’s aunt stayed with him, and his mother went to a laboratory. Zahra left her son in an acceptable condition, his temperature was 36.7. But after half an hour, according to Zahraa, “I received a call from my sister telling me that my son’s condition had deteriorated, as he had a high temperature of 42.7 and a rapid heart rate of 140, and potassium is very low.

In her opinion, “We do not count on the consciences of officials, and it seems that the merchants have lost their consciences as well. We do not know what to eat and how to eat and in what sanitary conditions these materials are placed. Is our food spoiled, or the way it is stored is corrupt? I lived through the most difficult moments, scenarios in my head overlap, will I find my son on Resuscitation God forbid, what if, why and how did it all happen so quickly? And for what cheese mash? I felt that nothing would compensate for all these moments, my son is resisting and what happened could happen to any mother as a result of eating some foods either spoiled or stored In an improper way, what we know today is that he is infected with bacteria and we are waiting for an examination to know its type, and he will remain in the hospital receiving treatment for a week.”

What happened with Fadl, happened with others. Many similar cases share their story and suffering. Food poisoning opens the door wide to more than just poisoning. Storing foods, spoiled materials and other problems that we talk about again without making much progress in the file of food safety in Lebanon.

In this regard, the head of the Bacterial Disease Research Center at the American University of Beirut, and a member of the World Health Organization’s Vaccines Committee for the Middle East and North Africa, Dr. Ghassan Debebo, explains to “Al-Nahar” that “in cases of poisoning and microbes that affect the digestive system, their types are either a virus or a virus.” Or bacteria or bacteria that produce toxins that we eat in some foods and lead to poisoning.”

But what raises our concerns in children is the dehydration resulting from food poisoning, as the child loses large amounts of water due to symptoms of poisoning such as vomiting, diarrhea and heat, which leads to an acceleration in the blood circulation to compensate for this deficiency. In extreme rare cases, the heart becomes unable to provide blood and send it to all organs, and thus we face heart failure, a drop in pressure and sometimes death if we do not remedy these symptoms.”

Debepo explains that “the main symptoms such as heat, vomiting and diarrhea all lead to dehydration in the body. Therefore, if these symptoms are strong, they may cause dehydration in the body within 24 hours. If the symptoms are moderate, the development of dehydration may be delayed for two days or more.”

As a result, we usually warn parents, according to Debebo, “of the importance of monitoring the child’s condition, activity, ability to play, or his general health condition. As long as the child is able to play or has activity, this means that he has not reached a severe dehydration state. But if the child suffers from dissolution and lack of Active and unable to move, this means that he suffers from severe dehydration or inflammatory developments as a result of microbes.

Parents should also monitor urine and its regularity. Urination in a child indicates the presence of water in the body, and as long as urination is regular every 3-4 hours, this means that the child does not suffer from dehydration. So, there are some indicators that help determine whether the body is dry or not, including the membranes in the mouth and nose. If the mouth is dry and there is no saliva, this indicates the development of dehydration in the body. In addition to the rapid pulse, which also reveals the dryness of the body, and the shrinking of the skin on some of it, which indicates the development of severe dehydration in the child.

Debepo stresses that, “You should consult a doctor immediately or go to the nearest hospital when signs of severe dehydration appear. In order to reach this stage, some medications can be given to control nausea and vomiting, so that we allow the child to drink the oral serum (available in pharmacies) that compensates for the shortage. And avoid going to the emergency.

Accordingly, we may resort to giving the oral serum in emergency and guiding the parents on how to give it at home. But if this treatment does not work at home, and the child’s condition does not improve, then we give the serum in the sweat and he may need to enter the hospital for several days until his condition improves.”

And Debepo concludes by sending an important warning message by saying, “The majority of bacteria that cause inflammation in the digestive system should not be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs. Because there are some types of microbes when given these anti-inflammatory drugs may cause the toxins of these bacteria to be excreted in a high way in the body, which leads to kidney failure. Hemolytic uremic syndrome or HUS, which calls for dialysis, and these cases of infection with bacteria usually occur in the summer and are caused by infection with certain types of bacteria.Therefore, anti-inflammatories should not be prescribed until after fecal transplantation, and he indicated that this bacteria needs to be treated with an antibiotic. Inflammation, as for salmonella or E. coli, which do not need anti-inflammatories and go away automatically in most cases.


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