Salmonella Infections - Dream Health

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Monday 15 May 2023

Salmonella Infections

Salmonella Infections

We often get sick with stomach pains & diarrhoea from Salmonella bacteria which is known as gastroenteritis, and the infection is called “Salmonella.” In the United States, it is a common form of bacterial food poisoning.

What is Salmonella?

Salmonella infection is a common bacterial disease called salmonellosis, which affects the intestinal tract. This type of bacteria lives in animal & human intestines and is shed through stool (feces). We often got infected through contaminated water or food.

Who is at higher risk for Salmonella?

Humans may get Salmonella and be at higher risk for serious illness depending on age, living conditions, and certain illnesses & medications.

You will be at a greater risk of getting Salmonella if you:

  • Live around high-risk animals like chickens, ducks, turtles and lizards. 
  • Take antacids or other medicines which reduce the defensive power in your body against Salmonella, resulting in you getting sick easily. 
  • Live with IBD or inflammatory bowel disease. 
  • Are under five years old.

The risk will be higher:-

  • When you are over 65 or under the age of 12 months 
  • If you have a compromised immune system because of HIV, chemotherapy, or other illnesses or medications 
  • When you have sickle cell disease, you will be at high risk of osteomyelitis which is a rare complication of Salmonella.

Symptoms of Salmonella infections:

Symptoms of Salmonella infections can be seen between some hours to some days after exposure to this bacteria. The symptoms of this bacteria affect these body parts.

  • Stomach and intestines (GI tract) 
  • Diarrhea (sometimes bloody). 
  • Fever. 
  • Stomach pains or cramps 
  • Nausea and vomiting. 
  • Headache.

What causes Salmonella?

The Salmonella bacteria is the reason behind Salmonella infections. If more bacteria gets into your body, you may experience fever, diarrhea, and other stomach (gastrointestinal) problems. Although bacteria live in people's & animals' guts, these are the following things that can be contaminated.

  • Raw eggs and eggshells. 
  • Raw red meat, seafood, and poultry 
  • Fruits and vegetables. 
  • Unpasteurized milk or cheese. 
  • Untreated water. 
  • he fur, feathers, scales, skin, and poop (feces) of animals and where they live 
  • Surfaces around the infected person. 
  • Contaminated water. 
  • Prepare foods without washing hands & eating.


You can be infected by Salmonella from animals as well as from those people who are infected with this bacteria. Moreover, if you touch an animal with your hand, the bacteria can be transferred to your mouth. Almost every animal carries salmonella bacteria on feathers, fur, scale, or skin. Here, we have given the names of animals that carry this virus.

  • Amphibians (frogs and toads). 
  • Reptiles like turtles, lizards, and snakes 
  • Birds (chicken, ducks, turkey, and wild birds) 
  • Farm animals (cows, goats, sheep, and pigs). 
  • Pets such as dogs, cats, birds, and small animals

How was Salmonella diagnosed?

Its diagnosis is made via a test of stool (poop), blood, or other sample. Hence, healthcare providers give a physical exam. Then, they ask about symptoms & health history.

Stool sample: In this case, you must give your poop sample from your home. You will be given a sterile container & instructions letting you know how you should collect a sample. Then, they test the sample to check if it matches the signs of Salmonella bacteria or not.

Blood sample: The health provider will collect your blood using a needle from your arm. After that, the bacteria will be cultured from the blood sample.

Other samples: Your provider can use body fluids or tissues such as pee (urine). Or they can take a sample from the wound for the test.

How is Salmonella treated?

We usually do not treat the bacteria with medication. You may need to take antibiotics when you are severely ill or at high risk for complications. If you are experiencing severe diarrhea, it is essential to be hospitalized. You must drink a lot of water. When you are dehydrated, your provider gives you IV fluids.

What medications are used to treat Salmonella?

Antibiotics that you may need to take are as follows:

  • Ciprofloxacin. 
  • Ceftriaxone. 
  • Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX). 
  • Azithromycin.

How do you manage the symptoms of Salmonella?

Drinking a lot of fluids is a vital way to manage symptoms of salmonella infections. Thus, it's possible to prevent dehydration. These are the fluids taken which can help you to stay hydrated, including:

  • Water. 
  • Sports drinks. 
  • 100% fruit juices with water added. 
  • Broth. 
  • Oral rehydration solutions (like Pedialyte).

Adults should take loperamide (Imodium) and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate) to get rid of diarrhea. Ensure that children or infants do not take these medicines without consulting a pediatrician.

Safe Food Preparation Practices:

Remember that you can kill the bacteria in food by cooking & pasteurization. Many ways exist through which you can decrease the risk of bacteria while preparing food:

  • If you feel sick, ensure that you are not preparing food for others. 
  • Ensure that you wash your hands with soap and water after coming from the bathroom. 
  • You should wash your hands both before & after you prepare food or eat. 
  • You must keep the surfaces clean where you prepare foods & eat them. 
  • Before you eat, you have to prepare food to a safe temperature. 
  • You must not handle other foods when you work with raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs.
  • It is necessary to keep vegetables clean before cutting, eating, or cooking. 
  • You must keep meat, poultry, and seafood in the refrigerator. 
  • Avoid taking unpasteurized milk or foods which are prepared using unpasteurized milk. 
  • Ensure that you avoid untreated water or foods to prepare which untreated water is used. You can use bottled water when you are not sure if it is treated.

Safe Animal Handling:

We have already mentioned that almost every animal carries this bacteria on its fur, feathers, scales, or skin. However, animals who are infected by the virus sometimes will not appear sick. Chickens, ducks, turtles, and lizards have the most chance of carrying the bacteria and remain at the highest risk. So, there are several things you should follow to avoid the bacteria.

  • You must keep your hands clean by washing them with soap and water after touching animals or their food, water bowls, litter boxes, poop, cages, or toys. 
  • You must not put your hands in your mouth after you touch animals. Ensure that you are not kissing the animal's fur, feathers, scales, or skin. 
  • Never touch high-risk animals if your immune system is weakened. In addition, if you are younger than five or older than 65, you should not touch them. 
  • Never drink or eat around high-risk animals or in the place where they live. 
  • It is necessary to clean your pet's habitat, depending on what it uses, like an aquarium, cage, or terrarium. You must not use a kitchen sink to clean your pet's habitat, toys, or bowls.


In this article, we have covered everything that you need to know about Salmonella infections and the bacteria, along with explaining the reason behind this infection, symptoms, diagnosis methods, precautions, treatments, safety tips to follow, etc. Still, if you have any doubts or queries, let us know via comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How long does salmonella last?

The symptom lasts between four and seven days. If you find your symptom not improving after three days, you need to consult with your healthcare provider.

Q. What are the complications of Salmonella?

Although most people usually do not have complications from these bacteria, you need to look out for the signs of a serious illness. These are the following complications of Salmonella, such as— dehydration, bacteremia, osteomyelitis, and reactive arthritis.

Q. Can you die from salmonella?

You may die if the bacteria spread to other body areas or causes sepsis. While millions of people are infected by the bacteria in the U.S. each year, the number of deaths is only 420 people.

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