Salmonella Infection (Salmonellosis)
Salmonella infection (salmonellosis)
is an illness that affects your intestines. It is caused by Salmonella bacteria. You can be
infected from eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Beef, pork, chicken, eggs, and
unpasteurized milk are more likely to carry this bacteria than other foods. But vegetables
may also be contaminated. Salmonella most often passes through food that hasn’t been cooked
well enough. Or food that contacts raw meat or eggs. You can also be infected by contact
with the stool (feces) of infected animals. Or by food that an infected food handler
Common symptoms of Salmonella infection
Symptoms often start 12 to 72 hours
after you are infected. Symptoms include:
Upset stomach (nausea)
Diagnosing Salmonella infection
A healthcare provider takes a
sample of your stool and checks for Salmonella. More than 1 stool sample may be
Treating Salmonella infection
Most otherwise healthy people get
better in 5 to
7 days. You will often not need medicines that treat bacterial infections
(antibiotics). But if you have other health problems, your symptoms are severe, or the
infection is spreading to other parts of your body, you will need antibiotics. An
important part of the treatment is fluids. Drink plenty of fluids while you are sick and
recovering. This helps prevent fluid loss (dehydration). Don't take antidiarrheal
medicine unless your healthcare provider tells you to. This medicine can prevent your
body from getting rid of the bacteria. It can also make the illness last longer.
When to call the healthcare provider
Call your healthcare provider if you have any of these:
Preventing Salmonella infection
Follow these steps to reduce your chances of getting or passing on Salmonella infection:
Wash your hands well with
soap and warm water. Or use an alcohol-based hand cleanser. Do this often. Always
wash before making meals. Wash after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, or
handling pets or other animals. Teach your child to do the same. Scrub for 15 to
30 seconds. While you wash, sing the ABC song or the Happy Birthday song to reach
the 30-second goal.
Use a food thermometer when
cooking. Cook poultry to at least 165°F (74°C). Cook pork and ground meats to at
least 160°F (71°C). Cook beef or lamb to at least 145°F (63°C). Cook eggs until
the yolks are firm and not still runny.
Wash or peel fresh fruits and vegetables before eating.
Wash cutting boards and utensils with hot water and soap after each use. After preparing raw meat or eggs, clean boards and counters with hot water and soap.