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Salmonella Bacteria, Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment.

Article By: Patrick Mansfield | U.S. Health Alerts
Salmonella  Virus

Salmonella, a type of bacteria, is one of the leading causes of food poisoning in America. Food poisoning can be especially serious in older adults, infants, and anyone with chronic diseases or a compromised immune system. Salmonella bacteria are destroyed through proper cooking and pasteurization.

Common Sources

Food: Contaminated eggs, poultry, meat, raw milk or cheese, unpasteurized juice, contaminated raw fruits and vegetables (in particular alfalfa sprouts and melons), spices, and nuts.

Animals and their surroundings: Reptiles such as snakes, turtles, and lizards, amphibians such as frogs, baby chicks, and pet food, are all possible sources of salmonella bacteria. 

Incubation Period    

Generally, the incubation period for salmonella is between 12 to 72 hours.

Symptoms of an infection typically include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. 

Duration of a Salmonella Infection    

 salmonella infection typically lasts between 4 to 7 days and usually clears up on its own.

Treatment options    

When experiencing an infection, it is crucial to drink adequate amounts of fluid such as water or juice and get as much rest as possible in order to allow the body to fight off the bacteria. If you are unable to hold enough fluids down to prevent dehydration or if symptoms become severe, it is essential to contact your physician immediately. A more severe case may require antibiotics if the infection passes from the intestines into the blood stream. 

Following is a list of tips for preventing infection from salmonella bacteria. 

1. Avoid High-Risk Foods such as: 

Raw or undercooked eggs
Undercooked meat
Raw milk
Unwashed fruits and vegetables

2. Keep food refrigerated prior to cooking

3. Wash hands with soap and warm water before and after cooking or handling raw meat

4. Thoroughly clean surfaces before and after food preparation

5. Keep cooked foods separate from foods that are ready to eat

6. Avoid contact between cooked food and any utensils or plates that were used on raw foods

7. Ensure foods have been thoroughly and safely heated by using a meat thermometer

8. Chill foods properly during transport and immediately after meals to discourage the growth of salmonella bacteria

9. Thoroughly wash your hands after any contact with animals, their living space, or their food
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