Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is an infection with bacteria called salmonella. Salmonella can grow in a variety of places such as water, raw meat, seafood, certain pets, and eggs.

  • Causes

    Salmonellosis is caused by ingestion of a strain of bacteria called salmonella. After the bacteria are ingested, within 6-48 hours
    they will pass through the stomach to the intestine where inflammation occurs and spreads.

    Stomach and Intestines
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  • Definition

    Salmonellosis is an infection with bacteria called
    salmonella. Salmonella
    can grow in a variety of places such as water, raw meat, seafood, certain pets, and eggs.

  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor may
    test your stool or blood to confirm presence of
    the bacteria

  • Prevention

    To help reduce your chance of getting salmonellosis, take the following steps:


    • Frequently
      wash hands
      and surfaces.
    • Wash hands and cutting boards with hot soapy water before and after handling raw foods.
    • Wash
      utensils thoroughly
      after
      using them on

      raw meats, fish, or poultry.
    • Do not use the same cutting boards for raw meats and raw vegetables.
    • Do not drink unpasteurized milk.
    • Drink bottled or purified water when traveling.
    • Cook all foods to appropriate temperatures.
    • Place foods in the refrigerator promptly.
    • Wash hands after handling reptiles.
    • Certain medications, like those to reduce stomach acid, may increase your risk for salmonellosis. Talk to your doctor about this risk.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that increase your risk of getting salmonellosis include:

    • Eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, fish, or seafood
    • Eating unpasteurized dairy products
    • Eating other contaminated foods
    • Drinking contaminated water
    • Handling reptiles, especially turtles
    • Taking antibiotics

    • Having a compromised immune system, such as in:

      • Elderly
        persons
      • Infants

      • People with
        HIV/AIDS
      • People with low stomach acidity, such as those who take medication that reduces stomach acid

  • Symptoms

    If you have any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to salmonellosis. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions.

    • Nausea
    • Diarrhea
    • Abdominal cramps
    • Fever
    • Vomiting
    • Headaches

  • Treatment

    Over-the-counter medications or oral rehydration solutions may be used to treat the symptoms of salmonellosis. The symptoms will usually improve on their own within 2-5 days. If symptoms are severe, talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:

    • Rehydration therapy—
      Oral or IV fluid replacement is needed; electrolytes may also be added to the solution.
    • Acetaminophen
      or
      ibuprofen—Over-the-counter pain relievers may be used to reduce fever or treat headaches and other pain.
    • Antibiotics—These are required only in severe cases
      where blood infection may occur. Antibiotic use in non-severe cases does not improve a person's outcome. It may cause the bacteria to stay longer in your system.