Salmonella is one of the common forms of food poisoning brought about by bacteria. The condition is prevalent during the summer season.
It is important to note that salmonella is a brief condition characterized by diarrhea and stomach cramps lasting for 4-7 days. In some cases, the diarrhea can become severe or last longer. Generally, children are likely to acquire the condition than other age groups.
How does it spread?
Salmonella is a form of bacteria that can thrive in the digestive tract of both animals and humans. It can pass out of the intestines into stool or feces.
An individual can become infected with salmonella by:
- Consuming undercooked foods that have been contaminated by animal feces. Proper cooking of food destroys salmonella. Raw or undercooked poultry, beef and seafood can put one at risk as well as foods that contain raw eggs. Even milk and unwashed fruits and vegetables might carry the bacteria.
- Eating food prepared on surfaces that were exposed to raw meat.
- Consuming foods contaminated by human feces which can occur if not able to wash hands thoroughly before handling food.
- Handling snakes, turtles, chicks, lizards and baby birds since these animals are likely to carry salmonella
- Diarrhea and stomach cramps that arise 12-72 hours after
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite loss
Management of salmonella
Many individuals with salmonella can recover within 4-7 days without treatment. While sick, the individual should be provided with plenty of fluids to replace those that were lost via diarrhea.
An individual suffering from severe diarrhea or has been sick longer than a week might require hospitalization. While in the healthcare facility, the individual is under intravenous fluids.
Antibiotics might be suggested to manage infants, individuals over 65 years old, those with weakened immune systems as well as those with severe diarrhea, high fever and presence of bacteria in the bloodstream.
When to consult a doctor
A doctor must be consulted if:
- Condition lasts longer than a few days
- Diarrhea is blood-streaked or severe
- Fever higher than 101.5 degrees F that lasts longer than a day
- The sick individual is at risk for severe salmonella