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Salmonella infection

Learn about Salmonella infection, its causes, symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention methods. Salmonella infections are commonly caused by contaminated food products. Find out how to protect yourself and prevent the spread of this bacterial infection.

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Medriva Correspondents
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What You Need to Know About Salmonella Infection

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Definition

Salmonella infection, also known as salmonellosis, is an infection that occurs when a person comes in contact with the bacteria known as Salmonella. Salmonella mainly lives in the intestines of birds, reptiles, and animals, but it can be found in some foods and food-processing environments. People most often become infected with the Salmonella bacteria by eating contaminated food products such as eggs and meat.

Cause of Salmonella

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Salmonella can enter the human body through contact with infected animal or human feces, or by eating contaminated food or water. In human feces, Salmonella bacteria can survive for weeks or months, and can cause cross-contamination when a person handles a contaminated surface, such as a cutting board, and then touches food or a cooking utensil.

Common Symptoms

The common symptoms of Salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. These symptoms usually occur within 12 to 72 hours of consuming the contaminated item, but it can take up to one week for them to appear. In some cases, the infection may cause more serious symptoms, such as blood in the stool or urine, seizures, or headaches.

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Risk Factors

People who are at higher risk of developing a Salmonella infection include infants, children, elderly adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened or compromised immune systems. Additionally, people who travel to places where sanitation is poor and food safety regulations aren't regulatory enforced are at greater risk of contracting the infection.

Diagnosing Salmonella

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A Salmonella infection can be diagnosed through a variety of tests, including stool sample tests, blood tests, and urine tests. In some cases, a doctor may also order a CT scan or other imaging test to look for signs of the infection.

Treatment

Most cases of Salmonella infection can be treated with antibiotics. However, there is no specific treatment for Salmonella infection, and the antibiotics are usually used to prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the body. In some cases, hospitalization may be required.

Prevention

Salmonella infection can be prevented by following proper food safety and hygiene practices, such as frequent handwashing, avoiding raw and undercooked eggs, and properly washing and cooking all food. It is also important to avoid contact with animals, such as reptiles and birds, that may carry the bacteria. If you suspect that you have come into contact with Salmonella, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

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