Salmonella is caused by the bacteria salmonella. Salmonella is a group of bacteria that can cause diarrhea in humans. There are many different kinds of salmonella bacteria.
Salmonella is caused by a group of salmonella bacteria. The bacteria are passed from feces of people or animals to other people or animals. Contaminated foods are often animal in origin. They include beef, poultry, seafood, milk, or eggs. However, all foods, including some unwashed fruits and vegetables can become contaminated.
Salmonella typhi is the one type of salmonella that lives only in humans. It is passed only from human to human through contaminated food or water. It tends to cause a serious and life-threatening infection called typhoid fever. Treatment often requires antibiotics. A small number of people who are treated will continue to carry the organism and pass it through their feces to others through contaminated food or water.
Certain factors can increase your risk for getting salmonella. These factors include:
The following are the most common symptoms of salmonella. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms develop 12 to 72 hours after infection and may include:
The symptoms of salmonella infections may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.
Since many different illnesses have symptoms similar to salmonella, diagnosis depends on lab tests that identify salmonella in your stool.
Specific treatment for salmonella will be determined by your health care provider based on:
These infections generally run their course in 4 to 7 days. Often no treatment is required. However, if you have severe diarrhea, you may need rehydration with intravenous (IV) fluids. If the infection spreads from the intestines to the blood stream, prompt treatment with antibiotics will be necessary.
Most people recover completely from a salmonella infection. Some people may develop a condition called Reiter’s syndrome, which causes joint pain, eye irritation, and painful urination.
Since foods of animal origin pose the greatest threat of salmonella contamination, do not eat raw or undercooked eggs, poultry, seafood, or meats. Remember that some sauces and desserts use raw eggs in their preparation, so be cautious of these, particularly in foreign countries. Also, follow these recommendations by the CDC:
If your symptoms get worse or you get new symptoms, let your health care provider know. If your diarrhea continues more than a few days or gets worse, you may get dehydrated and need IV fluids.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your health care provider:
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