(Infection; Salmonella Enterica; Food Poisoning)
DefinitionSalmonellosis 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.
CausesSalmonellosis 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|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Risk FactorsFactors that increase your chance of 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
- A compromised immune system, such as in:
- People with HIV/AIDS
- People with low stomach acidity, such as those who take medication that reduces stomach acid
SymptomsSalmonellosis may cause:
- Abdominal cramps
DiagnosisYour 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
TreatmentOver-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.
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