What is Salmonellosis and How Do You Treat Salmonella Infection?
Salmonellosis is a relatively common bacterial infection that affects the GI tract. Characteristically, the salmonella bacteria live in the animal as well as human gut; and are discarded via feces. Salmonella infection occurs due to the consumption of contaminated water and / or food; especially, contaminated raw or undercooked meat, eggs, poultry or raw vegetables and fruits.
The incubation period ranges from a few hours to two days. Usually, people develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 8 - 72 hours of infection. Nearly everyone recuperates within a few days without any particular treatment regimen.
Causes of Salmonella Infection or Salmonellosis
Common causes for salmonella infection include:
- Consuming contaminated raw and undercooked meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, raw fruits and vegetables.
- Inadequate levels of hygiene, especially; when you do not wash your hands after a bowel movement.
- Carriers are a bog cause for spread of infection. People, who continue to expel the salmonella bacteria in their feces for a long time, even after the symptoms have been cured, are called carriers, and they are an important source of infection.
- People who take too many antacids, immuno-compromised people and those suffering from inflammatory bowel disease are susceptible to salmonellosis.
Symptoms of Salmonella Infection
Salmonella is responsible for gastroenteritis; and the chief symptoms are:
· Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhea, occasionally bloody
- Body ache
Salmonellosis mimics food poisoning. It is not a life threatening condition; nonetheless, it is very crucial that dehydration be managed effectively.
The symptoms of salmonellosis last for about 1 week or less, but, it could take a few months for the GI tract to come back to normalcy.
Salmonella infection symptoms habitually get cured by themselves; however, many patients become chronic carriers, i.e. they continue to expel the salmonella bacteria in their feces for 1 year or even more, even after the symptoms are no longer evident. Some develop a slow heart beat, and 30 % people develop a pink rash on the abdomen. Occasionally, the condition can become extremely debilitating, and may call for without-delay medical aid and sometimes, even hospitalization may be necessary in case severe complications develop.
Treatment for Salmonella Infection
Your doctor will ask you to get your blood tested for the salmonella bacteria. Once the exact diagnosis has been established, the treatment plan is started.
Treatment for salmonellosis is symptomatic, i.e., your health care provider will prescribe medicines to assuage abdominal pains, vomiting and diarrhea. An important aspect of the treatment is battling dehydration. Drink plenty of water and fluids every half an hour. Severe cases need hospitalization and IV administration of fluids. Antibiotics will be given to fight the bacterial infection and stop their growth and spread.