Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Salmonella poisoning facts
- What is Salmonella?
- What are Salmonella poisoning symptoms?
- How is Salmonella transmitted to humans?
- What are the risk factors for Salmonella infections?
- What are the unique situations that allow Salmonella to contaminate eggs?
- How do Salmonella spp. cause disease in people?
- How are Salmonella infections diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for Salmonella poisoning?
- What are the prognosis (outcome) and complications for Salmonella infections?
- How can Salmonella infection be prevented?
- Where can I find more information about Salmonella?
- Salmonella Outbreak - Slideshow
- Take the Quiz: Summer Food Safety
- Pictures of Food Poisoning - Slideshow
- Summer Food Safety FAQs
What is the treatment for Salmonella poisoning?
Treatment for enteritis or food poisoning is controversial. Some doctors recommend no antibiotics since the disease is self-limited, while others suggest using antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Cipro XR, Proquin XR) for 10-14 days. Some medical investigators believe antibiotics prolong the carrier state.
However, patients with suppressed immune systems (for example, patients with AIDS, undergoing cancer chemotherapy, infants under 2 months of age, or the elderly) should receive antibiotics. They may require hospitalization and be managed by an infectious disease consultant. In addition, pregnancy often predisposes the mother to get all types of food poisoning, including Salmonella. Pregnant females should take care to wash and cook foods well before eating. They should contact their OB/GYN doctor if they begin to have any signs of dehydration, especially if they develop a fever above 101 F.
Supportive therapy for both enteritis and enteric fevers consists mainly of preventing dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities (for example, abnormal levels of potassium and sodium ions) with fluids containing electrolytes (for example, IV fluids or oral fluids like sports drinks).
Carriers of Salmonella are considered to be infected even though they may show no symptoms. Carriers can infect other people and need to be cured of the carrier state. About 85% of carriers can be cured by a combination of surgery to remove their gallbladder and antibiotic treatments.
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