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Salmonella infections are diarrheal infections caused by the bacteria Salmonella. The Salmonella germ is actually a group of bacteria that can cause diarrheal illness in humans. There are many different kinds of Salmonella bacteria.
Salmonella are usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with animal feces. Contaminated foods are often animal in origin, such as beef, poultry, milk, or eggs. However, all foods, including some unwashed fruits and vegetables, and peanut butter, can become contaminated.
The following are the most common symptoms of Salmonella infections. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include: diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 8 to 72 hours after infection.
The symptoms of Salmonella infections may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
Since many different illnesses have symptoms similar to Salmonella infections, diagnosis depends on laboratory tests that identify Salmonella in the stools.
These infections generally run their course in five to seven days and often no further treatment is required. However, patients with severe diarrhea may need rehydration with intravenous fluids. If the infection spreads from the intestines, antibiotics may also be necessary.
Specific treatment for Salmonella infections will be determined by your physician based on:
Since foods of animal origin pose the greatest threat of Salmonella contamination, do not eat raw or undercooked eggs, poultry, or meats. Remember that some sauces and desserts use raw eggs in their preparation, so be cautious of these, particularly in foreign countries. Also, follow these recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):