SALMONELLA is a nasty stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhea.
Once it enters the body, it causes symptoms in just eight hours — but not everyone gets sick.
What is salmonella?
Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
It takes its name from the man who discovered it some 125 years ago – an American scientist named Dr. salmon.
The disease people get from salmonella infection is called salmonellosis.
Anyone can get the bug, but small children, the elderly, pregnant women and others with weakened immune systems, such as B. cancer patients are particularly susceptible.
What are the symptoms of salmonella poisoning?
Salmonellosis develops after ingestion of salmonella bacteria, and symptoms usually develop between 12 and 72 hours.
However, not everyone gets symptoms. And the NHS says symptoms could lie for “a couple of weeks” before they appear.
Typical signs of infection include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and sometimes vomiting and fever.
Symptoms usually last between four and seven days and do not require treatment – although in extreme cases sufferers may need to be hospitalized for the resulting dehydration, which can be dangerous.
Persons infected with Salmonella should remember to drink plenty of fluids.
Doctors may recommend a rehydration solution from a pharmacy, and antibiotics are needed in some cases.
Some of the bug’s symptoms are similar to those of Covid-19, including diarrhea.
How is salmonella transmitted?
Salmonella is usually spread in contaminated food that is not properly prepared before consumption.
The bacteria live in the intestines of many livestock.
Therefore, people usually become infected by eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, or egg products (such as mayonnaise).
During slaughtering, salmonella can be transferred from the faeces of the animals to the meat.
To ensure bacteria are killed before eating, be sure to cook meat thoroughly.
Do not wash raw poultry, meat or eggs before cooking.
Fruit, vegetables and shellfish can also be contaminated by manure in the soil or sewage in the water.
You should wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating or cooking.
Salmonella can also contaminate processed foods like nut butters, frozen pies, and chicken nuggets.
Turtles, terrapins, and pet reptiles can carry the bacteria, while dogs, cats, and rodents can also sometimes become infected.
In addition, salmonella can be passed from person to person through poor hygiene.
If you don’t wash your hands after using the restroom or preparing food like raw chicken, it can spread.
Can Salmonella Kill You?
Salmonella is not usually life-threatening, with less than one percent of those affected dying.
However, complications can occur that are more dangerous for babies, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.
With diarrhea there is a risk of dehydration, which is always severe.
When a salmonella infection gets into your bloodstream, it can infect tissues throughout your body, including around the brain, heart, and blood vessels, the Mayo Clinic says.
Some people may develop a condition called reactive arthritis, also known as Reiter’s syndrome, weeks or even months later. This causes joint pain, eye irritation, and painful urination.
If you are unwell with salmonella, you should call your GP if your diarrhea is severe or bloody, your fever lasts for more than a day or doesn’t go down, or your illness lasts for more than a few days.
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