KidsHealth.Org recently published an article on their site in regards to salmonella and salmonellosis, and how people can recognize the symptoms as well as prevent contracting the disease:
Signs and Symptoms:
Salmonellosis is a foodborne illness caused by the bacteria salmonella. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), fever, and headache. Because many different kinds of illnesses can cause these symptoms, salmonella gastroenteritis should be diagnosed by laboratory tests that can identify the bacteria in an infected person’s stool.
Once the salmonella bacteria has been identified, further testing can determine its specific type and which antibiotics can be used to treat it. The most common types of salmonella are typhimurium and enteriditis; they have been causing illness for more than 100 years. A new strain of typhimurium, DT104, is resistant to seven different antibiotics that normally would kill any salmonella strain, making treatment options more limited.
Salmonella are bacteria that cause an infection of the gastrointestinal system in humans. The bacteria can be found in water, soil, kitchen surfaces, animal feces, raw meats, poultry, and eggs. The disease is usually limited to the intestinal tract, but the salmonella organisms can spread to other parts of the body, such as blood or bone. Salmonella can cause typhoid fever, the symptoms of which include fever, abdominal pain, headache, malaise, lethargy, skin rash, constipation, and delirium.
Salmonella is usually transmitted to humans by foods contaminated with animal feces. Contaminated foods usually do not look or smell unusual. Food may also become contaminated by an infected food handler who neglected to wash his hands after using the bathroom.
Salmonella can also be found in the feces of some pets, particularly reptiles. Even healthy reptiles (especially turtles and iguanas) are not appropriate pets for small children and should not be in the same house as an infant for this reason.
Since salmonella appears most often in animal foods, raw or undercooked eggs, poultry, or meat should never be eaten. Cooking kills the salmonella bacteria. Poultry and meat should always be well cooked, until they are no longer pink in the center.
Some foods may contain unrecognized raw food products and should be avoided. Caesar salad dressing, the Italian dessert tiramisu, homemade ice cream, chocolate mousse, cookie dough, and frostings are all items that can contain raw eggs. Unpasteurized milk and juices can also be contaminated with salmonella.
Egg-associated salmonellosis is a health problem in the United States because the bacteria can live inside normal-looking eggs that we buy in a grocery store. Salmonella can grow within the ovaries of otherwise healthy hens and contaminates the eggs before the shells are formed. Strict procedures for cleaning and inspecting eggs were implemented in the 1970s that made infection from contamination of the outside of the eggshell much less common. Salmonella, however, can affect intact and disinfected grade A eggs and still presents a danger when raw or undercooked eggs are consumed. This means sunny-side-up or poached eggs with a soft center pose a risk of salmonellosis.
Cross-contamination is another means of spreading salmonella. Uncooked meats should be kept separate from cooked and ready-to-eat foods. Hands, cutting boards, counters, and knives should be washed thoroughly after handling uncooked foods.
Symptoms of salmonellosis usually appear within 2 days of contamination with the bacteria, but are usually obvious within 24 hours. As few as 15 to 20 salmonella germs can cause an infection, but not everyone who ingests the bacteria will become ill. Many factors contribute to whether someone will be affected by ingestion of salmonella, including age, general health, and immune system status.
Children, especially young infants, are the most likely candidates to become ill from salmonella ingestion, and may even need to be hospitalized.had in common.