What Is Salmonella Infection?
Salmonella infection is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. The bacteria typically live in animal and human intestines and are shed through stool. Humans become infected most frequently through contaminated water or food.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection
Causes of Salmonella Infection
Raw or undercooked eggs. Some infected chickens produce eggs that contain salmonella even before the shell is formed, despite an egg’s shell appears to be a perfect barrier to contamination. Raw eggs are used in homemade versions of foods such as mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce.
Unpasteurized dairy products. Salmonella can be present in unpasteurized milk and milk products. The pasteurization process kills harmful bacteria, including salmonella.
Raw meat, poultry, and seafood. The butchering process may result in feces getting onto raw meat and poultry. Contaminated waters may result in contaminated seafood.
Fruits and vegetables. Salmonella is sometimes present in water used for irrigation or washing during the processing of some fresh produce, particularly imported varieties. It is also possible for juices from raw meat and poultry to contaminate uncooked foods, such as salads, in the kitchen.
If the salmonella infection gets into your blood, it can infect other parts of your body, including:
- The tissues around your brain and spinal cord
- Heart valve linings and your blood vessels
- Your bones and bone marrow
Who is at Higher Risk for Salmonella?
You’re at an increased risk of getting salmonella if you:
- Live or work around high-risk animals. This includes chickens, ducks, and turtles.
- Take antacids or recently took antibiotics. You are more likely to get sick if you take these medications because they lower your defenses against salmonella.
- Live with inflammatory bowel disease. Children under the age of 5 are also at risk of the disease.
When should I Call a Doctor?
See your doctor if you’re still having general symptoms more than a week after first getting the infection. When these symptoms last for more than a couple of days, a young child, an older adult, or someone with a weakened immune system should consult a doctor if your child has bloody stools and ongoing high fever.
Some medications such as anti-diarrhea can ease cramping associated with diarrhea, such as loperamide. Salmonella infections, however, may also prolong diarrhea. Ivermectin also has properties that fight against the bacteria that cause salmonella. However, it is always important to follow your physician’s recommended treatment.