Salmonella is a common infectious disease that affects the intestinal tract. Salmonella bacteria usually live in the intestines of humans and animals.
People are most often infected through contaminated water or food.
Typically, people who are infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramping ranging from 8 to 72 hours. Most healthy people recover in a few days without any special treatment.
In some cases, diarrhea associated with Salmonella may be dehydrating so as to require prompt medical attention. Life-threatening complications can also occur if the infection spreads beyond the intestine. The risk of becoming infected with salmonella is greater if you travel to countries with poor sanitation.
Salmonella is usually caused by eating raw or undercooked meat, eating poultry meat, eggs and products arising from the eggs. The incubation period ranges from several hours to two days. Most salmonella infections can be classified as gastroenteritis.
Possible signs and symptoms are:
Nausea and vomiting
Blood in the stool
Signs and Symptoms of salmonella usually lasts four to seven days, although it may take several months to balance the body back to full normal.
The most frequently contaminated foods are:
Raw meat, poultry and seafood – with the help of feces, the bacteria can get on raw meat and poultry during slaughter. Seafood can become infected if they are taken from contaminated water.
Raw eggs – although the shell of the egg seems like a very good shield against infection, some infected chickens can lay an egg that has been infected with salmonella before the shield is formed at all.
Fruits and vegetables – some fresh products, especially those imported, can be hydrated in the field or washed away with the water that is contaminated with salmonella.
Infection can also occur in the kitchen when juices from raw meat or poultry come in contact with fruits or vegetables.
Dirty hands after using the toilet
Many food becomes contaminated when prepared by people who do not wash their hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Infection can also occur if you touch something that is contaminated, including pets and especially birds, and then put your fingers in your mouth.
Some people return to work before handling food infection completely withdrawn, continue to spread the infection. Some people who get salmonella become chronic carriers, which means that they continue to excrete the bacteria in their feces. Some carriers can transmit salmonella without occurrence of any signs or symptoms of the disease.
Treatment of salmonella
Because salmonella can cause dehydration, replacement of fluids and electrolytes is an important treatment goal. More severe cases may require hospitalization and fluid that is delivered directly into a vein.
In addition, your doctor may recommend:
Anti-diarrhoeal drugs – drugs such as loperamide (Imodium) can help in the liberation of cramps, but they can also prolong the diarrhea associated with salmonella.
Antibiotics – If your doctor suspects that salmonella bacteria entered the bloodstream, or if more severe form of disease or compromised immune systems, may be prescribed antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Antibiotics are not useful in uncomplicated cases.