Description of Salmonella
Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause infection in the intestinal tract. Salmonella lives in the intestines of animals and humans and comes out in the feces. Contact with contaminated food and water causes infection.
Onset and Duration
Symptoms usually arise within 12 to 72 hours after contact and last four to seven days. People in good health generally recover on their own without medical intervention.
Symptoms of salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, chills, diarrhea, muscle pain and blood in the stools.
For those requiring medical treatment, anti-diarrhea medications may be used to alleviate the cramping associated with diarrhea. Antibiotics can be given to fight the bacteria.
Diarrhea associated with salmonella can cause severe dehydration. If the infection enters the blood stream, it can spread to the heart, liver or bones.
Wash your hands frequently, especially after cleaning animal feces or handling reptiles. Store raw meat away from other food and use a separate cutting board. Avoid eating raw eggs, or try eating pasteurized eggs if you must consume them raw.