What is salmonella and where does it come from?

Salmonella is bacteria that lives in the intestines of animals and birds. It is also present in human intestines, and in the feces of animals and humans. Humans usually get sick from it if they eat food or drink water that has been contaminated with the bacteria. If samonella comes in contact with peanuts that are then made into peanut butter, the person who eats it will become sick.

Salmonella is a form of food poisoning

Salmonella bacteria causes food poisoning. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms may develop between eight and 72 hours. A person who has eaten contaminated food may develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most people feel better within a few days and do not require any medical treatment. A person with samonella poisoning will probably not feel like going to work or school because it is often compared to having the flu.

Other symptoms of Salmonella poisoning

Many people develop body aches and a fever in addition to the gastrointestinal upset caused by salmonella. Chills and severe stomach cramps are other other problems that injesting these bacteria can cause. One problem that can result is dehydration because of the body losing liquid through vomiting and diarrhea. Anyone who has food poisoning should drink liquids to replenish body fluids, especially young children who can dehydrate easily.

How to treat salmonella poisoning

The best way to treat salmonella poisoning is to stop eating solid food and drinking milk. Many doctors recommend eating ice chips or drinking small sips of water or sports drinks that contain electrolytes. These are lost through vomiting and diarrhea and should be replaced in the body. The person can then consume broth or tea as they begin to feel better. Solid food should be resumed gradually without eating anything fried or spicy until the person is completely back to normal.

Some people should call their doctor immediately if they develop salmonella poisoning

Although most healthy people feel very ill with salmonella poisoning, they recover without medical treatment. Some people should call their doctor as soon as they think that they might have contracted the food poisoning. Babies and toddlers, pregnant women, elderly people, or anyone with an immunity disorder may become easily dehydrated and need medical care or hospitalization if they develop this illness.

How to prevent getting salmonella poisoning

One of the best ways of preventing this illness is to wash your hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom. There are test strips available to test foods for salmonella bacteria, but few people want to test every food before eating it.

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