Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Salmonella Symptoms: Get Ready for the Next One

I'm a bit tired of hearing about new "possible" salmonella outbreaks: spinach, peanuts, tomatoes, peanut butter, and the list goes on and on. Since we never know when next outbreaks are coming, here is how to recognize symptoms, and a few facts:

• Salmonellosis is an infection with bacteria called salmonella.
• Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 hours to 72 hours after infection.
• The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, for some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.
• In these patients, the salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
• The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
• People with diarrhea usually recover completely, although it may be several months before their bowel habits are entirely normal.
• A small number of people with salmonella develop pain in their joints, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination. This is called Reiter’s syndrome. It can last for months or years.
• Salmonella infections usually resolve in 5-7 days and often do not require treatment other than oral fluids. People with severe diarrhea may require rehydration with intravenous fluids
• Salmonella germs have been around for more than 100 years. They were discovered by an American scientist named Salmon, for whom they are named.

S ources:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Shine and Care2Green Living

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