Salmonella – How it Works

Salmonellosis is a type of food poisoning that is derived from various strains of the Salmonella bacterium. In the United States, there are approximately 40,000 cases reported each year. And every few years, there is an outbreak. News spreads across the country and flow in the living rooms of millions of Americans. People are frenzied and find themselves living in the fear of potential death. But in actuality the sickness is not too terrible. People still become sick but it is very manageable, and better yet, few people ever die from the sickness.

Causes and Symptoms

It might be appropriate to learn about the illness before making any assumption about what it might do to your health. There are many causes for Salmonella and most of them are centered on the one thing that all humans need: food. The most common cause of Salmonella is the contamination of food due to infected, unwashed hands handling food (the constant grilling in grade school about the importance of washing hands after going to the restroom still applies). Other causes come from contamination during the food processing stage and also handling pet feces infected with the strain.

The symptoms of the illness are many. They include abdominal cramps, fever, and diarrhea. A doctor can diagnose the illness based on medical history and just a few tests. If you are infected, you will become sick within 3 days.

Treatment

There is no complicated treatment procedure to deal with Salmonella. Most doctors suggest that you stick to your usually diet in order to maintain the right number of nutrients to get your through the day. It is also a good idea to drink several fluids to deal with the dehydration that may occur due to diarrhea. Drinks such as Lytren, Rehydralyte, or Pedialyte replace the essential electrolytes that are lost during the process. Sports drinks are too high in sugars to make any real difference. Avoid high fat, high sugar foods and also stay away from spicy foods, alcohol, and coffee for at least two days after all the symptoms have gone.

Prevention

The main thing to remember is that when things are not clean, your body will not gleam. Always wash your hands before handling food. Cook your food at safe temperatures to well done and avoid cross contamination of food. If you follow these rules, you probably will not have anything to worry about.