Salmonella Food Poisoning (Salmonellosis)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.
- Salmonella food poisoning facts
- What is Salmonella food poisoning?
- What causes Salmonella food poisoning?
- What are risk factors for Salmonella food poisoning?
- What are symptoms and signs of Salmonella poisoning?
- How do physicians diagnose Salmonella food poisoning?
- What is the treatment for Salmonella food poisoning?
- What are complications of Salmonella food poisoning?
- What is the prognosis of Salmonella food poisoning?
- Is it possible to prevent Salmonella food poisoning?
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Salmonella food poisoning facts
- Salmonella bacteria live in the intestines of humans and animals and are excreted in feces.
- Salmonella infection occurs from consumption of raw meats and eggs, contaminated dairy foods such as unpasteurized (raw) milk, or fruits and vegetables contaminated by food handlers.
- The infection causes gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
- Symptoms develop within 12-72 hours and typically last four to seven days.
- In most cases, no specific treatment is needed other than adequate hydration.
- People at risk for complications or those with particularly severe illness may need antibiotic therapy.
- There is no vaccine to prevent Salmonella infection.
- Reptiles, rodents, and birds may be infected with Salmonella. Contact with these animals increases the likelihood of getting the infection.
- Infection can be prevented by attention to hygiene during food preparation and handling of animals.
What is Salmonella food poisoning?
Salmonella infection, or salmonellosis, is sometimes referred to as Salmonella food poisoning. Salmonella are a type of bacteria that have been known to cause illness for over 100 years. The organism is named for a scientist named Daniel Elmer Salmon, who discovered the bacteria. Salmonellosis is a food-borne infection typically caused by consumption of contaminated foods. There are about 42,000 cases of salmonellosis reported each year in the U.S. Because the illness is not always reported or diagnosed, it is estimated that the actual number of infection may be much higher than this.
Different types of the Salmonella bacteria can cause the illness. The two most common types in the U.S. are S. typhimurium and S. enteritidis. Specific strains of the bacteria can be responsible for outbreaks of the disease. For example, a recent outbreak in 2013-14 was linked to multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg. This strain and some other strains have become resistant to many drugs traditionally used to treat the infection, posing a risk to public health.
Some types of Salmonella bacteria cause typhoid fever, a serious illness that occurs most often in nonindustrialized areas of the world.
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