Salmonellosis is an infection caused by the bacteria Salmonella. Every year, approximately 42,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported in the United States. Because many cases are not diagnosed or reported, the actual number of infections may be higher. It is estimated that approximately 400 persons die each year from Salmonella infection.
What are the symptoms of infection?
- Most people develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps six to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days,and most people recover with treatment.
- In rare cases people develop a severe infection which requires hospitalization. If not treated promptly, the infection can spread throughout the body and even cause death.
- A small number of people with Salmonella develop reactive arthritis, which can last for months or years and can lead to chronic arthritis which is difficult to treat.
Who is at risk for more severe illness?
The elderly, infants and people with impaired immune systems are likely to have a severe illness.
How do you get Salmonella?
Salmonella bacteria can be spread in several ways by eating contaminated food, handling certain animals and using poor hand washing practices.