Salmonella symptoms, incubation period, and possible treatment

There are many types of bacteria that can cause salmonella symptoms and a number of diseases, including typhoid and gastroenteritis. Most people with salmonella infections have mild signs of infection and recover without treatment. However, some conditions require admission to a hospital. Other people also often develop this type of infection after being in contact with the affected patient or consuming contaminated food or water. You can learn more about it in this post to better protect yourself from it.

What are salmonella symptoms?

woman experiences salmonella symptoms such as vomiting and high fever and lies on the sofa with stomach cramps

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause diarrhea in humans. There are over 2,500 subtypes, including animal and human phyla. Some are present in animals, but can also affect humans. However, if there are fewer than 100 strains of bacteria, there is a possibility of infecting humans. First and foremost, washing raw fruits and vegetables before consuming them can help prevent salmonella infection. Salmonella symptoms usually appear between 6 hours and 6 days after the initial infection and last for 4 to 7 days. These most often include diarrhea, stomach cramps and abdominal pain, a sudden fever, nausea, and in some cases vomiting.

Some strains can infect urine, blood, bones, joints, and the nervous system, including fluid in the spinal cord and brain. In addition, it can lead to serious complications. Some people who have Salmonella symptoms experience joint pain, also known as arthritis. So this condition can last for months or years and turn into chronic arthritis. These bacteria live in the intestines of birds, animals, and humans. Most infections in humans develop after consuming food or drinking water contaminated with feces. Uncooked meat, seafood, and poultry are also possible causes of infection.

dangerous bacteria cause salmonella symptoms if the hygiene is poor

Impurities can occur during processing of these products. For example, seafood harvest in contaminated waters is a common cause of salmonella infection. Infection can also spread when a person handles contaminated raw meat and then touches other food. Uncooked eggs from a bird with salmonella infection can also contain the bacteria. Boiling the eggs can usually reduce the risk. However, some popular sauces, such as mayonnaise, can contain raw eggs. Watering fruit or vegetable plants with contaminated water or washing the products in that water can also lead to salmonella infection.

Risk factors and salmonella treatment

Lab technician examines raw egg for salmonella as a possible cause of infection

Salmonella infections are more common in summer than in winter. Overall, the highest risk of infection is in children, the elderly with compromised immune systems, and pregnant women. Because of the risk of infection, caregivers should not allow young children to handle reptiles or chicks and young birds. Diarrhea and vomiting are usually a clear sign of gastroenteritis caused by it. Blood and stool tests can help determine the cause of the infection. The salmonella symptoms of gastroenteritis induced by this usually resolve after 4-7 days without treatment. Salmonella therapy can include the following treatments:

  • Taking fluids to prevent dehydration
  • Medicines for stomach cramps and diarrhea
  • Antibiotics for severe salmonella symptoms or if bacteria have entered or are likely to enter the bloodstream

It is important to note at this point that a doctor would not always prescribe antibiotics for salmonella. Scientists have found that excessive use of such drugs can lead to antibiotic resistance. In addition, this can increase the risk of the infection coming back. However, good hygiene is key to preventing salmonella infection. So here are some tips:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Keep cooked and raw foods separate.
  • Wash raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them.
  • Replace used tea towels regularly with clean ones.
  • Avoid drinking untreated water, such as from streams, rivers, and lakes.

Salmonella can live for different lengths of time in different foods. For example, researchers found that the bacteria can survive in cookies and snacks for at least 6 months. When buying eggs, make sure they come from a supplier who keeps them refrigerated. At home, it is important to store eggs at a temperature no higher than 4 ° C. For this reason, throw away any cracked or dirty eggs.

Prevention and medical care

young girl sitting on the toilet with diarrhea due to salmonella infection

It is advisable to consult a doctor if any of the following events occur as Salmonella symptoms:

  • Diarrhea, vomiting, or both that lasts for at least 2 days
  • Symptoms of dehydration such as dark urine, dizziness, decreased urination, and dry mouth
  • Fever over 39 ° C
  • Blood with bowel movements
  • Elderly people, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems should not hesitate to seek medical advice

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