About the disease
Salmonellosis is a food poisoning which is caused by the bacteria known as Salmonella enterica. This is a very common infection, especially common in the USA. It is also more active in the summertime than during winter. It is most predominant among children and elderly as these groups are more likely to contract these bacteria. Also, people with weak immune system are likely to develop more severe forms of salmonellosis, as their immune system does not as effectively fight salmonellosis as healthy immune system does.
In most cases salmonellosis is contracted by eating the contaminated food. Not washing hands before eating can also be dangerous, especially for those people whose profession requires to work with large quantities of food, such as food handlers or restaurant workers. In some cases salmonellosis is passed not only through eating the contaminated food. Close contact with infected animals can result in development of salmonellosis as well.
Bird meat is the most likely to contain the bacteria which leads to development of salmonellosis. Reptiles can be contaminated with these bacteria as well. Beef, eggs and milk can contain the infected bacteria as well. In most cases first manifestations of salmonellosis start after 12 hours of contact with the bacteria. Sometimes manifestation can begin 72 hours after the first contact. In most cases salmonellosis does not last long. The average lasting time of this infection is approximately 4 to 7 days.
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
- During a general examination, the doctor will ask about the dietary habits of a person and will also palpate the stomach. A doctor then will ask if a person has diarrhea and if there is blood in the stool. A doctor will the determine the severity of infection.
- A stool test is used to determine the type of parasites a person has in the small intestine, if there is any.
- A blood test is used to determine which bacteria a person contracted through the contact with contaminated food or water because there are several types of bacteria contained in the meat and unwashed food, that can produce similar symptoms.
- In most cases, conservative treatment is sufficient to treat salmonellosis. If a person has diarrhea, the chances are that he/she will get rid of the parasites in several days or sometimes weeks, as a body works naturally to eliminate the unneeded bacteria. In some cases, a person needs to take special antibiotics to kill the remaining bacteria. A person also needs to follow special diet and drink plenty of fluid. In future, a person needs to follow simple rules of hygiene in order to prevent new instances of salmonellosis.