Salmonella Food Poisoning – An Acute Bacterial Infection

Salmonella food poisoning is caused by consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria and through cross contamination. While all people with the infection exhibit certain symptoms, severe illness occurs only in elderly people, infants, and those with impaired immune systems.

Salmonella Food Poisoning – A Food-borne Illness

The Salmonella bacteria reside in the intestinal tracts of animals and birds and spread through contact with feces of infected animals or contact with infected animals. Salmonella food poisoning occurs by consumption of contaminated foods of animal origin like milk, eggs, poultry, fish, and meat. Cross contamination of vegetables can occur when the vegetables and the animal food products are handled together. Salmonella food poisoning can also be caused by touching or handling reptiles. It is important to wash hands thoroughly with antiseptic soap after any contact with reptiles. If you report of Salmonella infection after consuming a type of food to the local health department, the health officials will investigate the possibility of a food-borne outbreak and the prevention measures.

Symptoms of Salmonella – Know the Facts

The symptoms of salmonella infection are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, chills, muscle and joint pain. The symptoms appear 12 to 72 hours after consumption of contaminated food. The symptoms of salmonella infection last for 3 to 4 days and most people recover completely without any medical assistance. However, it may take many months for the bowel habits to become completely normal. Medical attention and hospitalization will be required if the infection spreads to the bloodstream. In rare cases, a condition called Reiter’s Syndrome or reactive arthritis may develop. This may result in conjunctivitis, painful urination, pain and inflammation of joints, fingers, ankles, toes and hips. It takes around a year to recover from Reiter’s syndrome but it might lead to chronic arthritis later in life.

Salmonella Treatment – For Better Recovery

Salmonella treatment methods include drinking water, rehydration fluids like Pedialyte, balanced electrolyte solutions and taking ample rest are the best treatments for the infection. No medical treatment is usually required for healthy individuals and recovery occurs around 3 to 7 days after infection. For people suffering from excessive dehydration, intravenous fluids are administered. Antibiotics are recommended only in cases of extreme illness or if the infection has spread to blood or other parts of the body. The antibiotics commonly prescribed for treating Salmonella infection include ampicillin, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, or sulfamethoxazole. The infection can be prevented by maintaining hygiene and ensuring that food is cooked well before consumption.

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