The acute symptoms of salmonella gastroenteritis include the sudden onset of nausea, abdominal cramping, and bloody diarrhea with mucous. The onset of symptoms usually occurs within 6 to 72 hours after the ingestion of the bacteria. The infectious dose is small, probably from 15 to 20 cells.
There is no real cure for a salmonella infection except treatment of the symptoms. For most strains of salmonella, the fatality rate is less than one percent.
Salmonella infections usually resolve in five to seven days, and many times require no treatment, unless the patient becomes severely dehydrated or the infection spreads from the intestines. Persons with severe diarrhea may require rehydration, often with intravenous fluids. Treatment with antibiotics is not usually necessary, unless the infection spreads from the intestines, or otherwise persists, in which case the infection can be treated with ampicillin, gentamicin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, or ciprofloxacin.
Some salmonella bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, however, and this has occurred possibly as a result of the use of antibiotics to promote the growth of feed animals.