Salmonella – Symptoms and Causes of Salmonella

Salmonella is a bacterium that causes one of the most common enteric (intestinal) infections in the United States – Salmonellosis. In some states (e.g. Georgia, Maryland), salmonellosis is the most commonly reported cause of enteric disease, and overall it is the second most common bacterial foodborne illness reported (usually slightly less frequent than Campylobacter infection).
Salmonella bacteria cause much of the food poisoning in the world, including an estimated four million cases of salmonellosis in the United States each year. In Illinois about 1,500 to 2,500 cases of this foodborne illness are reported each year.

Salmonella is a general name for a group of about 2,000 closely related bacteria that cause illness by reproducing in the digestive tract. Each salmonella subgroup, or serotype, shares common antigens and has its own name.
Salmonella is one of the most common causes of food poisoning. The CDC estimates 40,000 people a year are infected with salmonella, with 600 deaths annually. In recent years, the number affected with salmonella has been decreasing.

Salmonella is a genus of bacteria that are a major cause of foodborne illness throughout the world. The bacteria are generally transmitted to humans through consumption of contaminated food of animal origin, mainly meat, poultry, eggs and milk.

Symptoms of Salmonella

Symptoms of most salmonella infections usually appear within 3 days of contamination and typically go away without any medical treatment.
Typhoid fever is a systemic disease caused by Salmonella typhi. Symptoms are high fever, prostration, abdominal pain, and a rose-colored rash. Diagnosis is clinical and confirmed by culture. Treatment is with ceftriaxone or ciprofloxacin.
Diarrhea is an increase in the frequency of bowel movements or a decrease in the form of stool (greater looseness of stool). Although changes in frequency of bowel movements and looseness of stools can vary independently of each other, changes usually occur in both.

Symptoms of Salmonella gastroenteritis include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, nausea, and/or vomiting. In mild cases diarrhea may be non-bloody, occur several times per day, and not be very voluminous; in severe cases it may be frequent, bloody and/or mucoid, and of high volume.
Vomiting is common. Almost all children will vomit several times during their childhood. In most cases, it is due to a Salmonella infection.
Bacteremia. This condition results when salmonella bacteria enter and circulate throughout your bloodstream. Infants and people with compromised immune systems are at special risk of developing serious complications, including infection of tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and infection within the bloodstream (sepsis). People with salmonella-induced bacteremia may show few symptoms; however, fever can be present.

Causes of Salmonella

Most commonly, Salmonella causes gastroenteritis with cramping, diarrhea, abdominal tenderness, vomiting, and fever. The diarrhea is usually watery, but may contain blood or mucus.
Salmonella enterocolitis is one of the most common types of food poisoning. It occurs when you swallow food or water that is contaminated with the salmonella bacteria. Any food can become contaminated during preparation if conditions and equipment for food preparation are unsanitary.
Having close contact with other infected people or animals — especially their feces — allowing bacteria to be transmitted from your hands to your mouth
The salmonella bacteria attacks the stomach and intestines. In more serious cases, the bacteria may enter the lymph tracts, which carry water and protein to the blood, and the blood itself. The bacteria attack all age groups and both sexes. Children, the elderly and people who are already ill are much more likely to get a serious infection.