Salmonella infection

Salmonella infection

Salmonella infection or salmonellosis is an infectious disease that attacks the digestive tract. This disease occurs due to consumption of food or drink that has been contaminated with the bacteria that causes it, namely Salmonella bacteria.

Salmonella bacteria can live in the digestive tract of humans and animals and spread through faeces or faeces. A person infected with Salmonella bacteria can experience symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, and stomach cramps for 4-7 days. These bacteria also often cause food poisoning .

Although both are caused by Salmonella bacteria, typhoid and salmonellosis are two different diseases. Typhus is caused by a type of Salmonella bacteria, namely Salmonella typhi. Compared to Salmonella infection, typhus is less common but more often causes a serious condition.

Causes of Salmonella Infection

Salmonella infection or salmonellosis is caused by Salmonella bacteria. This infection attacks humans through food or drink that has been contaminated with feces or feces containing these bacteria.

Some of the most common types of food containing Salmonella bacteria are:

  • Raw or undercooked beef, poultry (including broiler chicken ), or seafood
  • Unpasteurized milk or dairy products
  • Raw or undercooked eggs
  • Unwashed fruits or vegetables
  • Foodstuffs washed with water contaminated with Salmonella bacteria
  • Processed foods, such as nuggets or sausages

A person can also become infected with Salmonella bacteria from holding, hugging, or kissing animals, such as iguanas, chicks, chicks, or turtles.

Salmonella infection risk factors

Salmonella infection can happen to anyone. However, there are several factors that can increase a person's risk of contracting Salmonella infection, namely:

  • Under 5 years old (toddlers) or over 65 years old (elderly)
  • Has a weak immune system
  • Living in an environment with poor sanitation
  • Taking certain medications, such as corticosteroids , antibiotics, and antacids
  • Suffering from inflammatory bowel disease
  • Have pets at home, such as dogs or cats

Symptoms of Salmonella Infection

Symptoms of Salmonella infection or salmonellosis can appear 12–72 hours after a person is infected. Some of the symptoms that can appear are:

  • Diarrhea
  • stomach cramps
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nauseous
  • Vomit
  • Loss of appetite

Symptoms of Salmonella infection generally last 4–7 days. However, sufferers can also experience diarrhea for up to 10 days and it can take several months for the intestines to function normally again.

When to see a doctor

Check with your doctor if you experience the symptoms mentioned above, especially if:

  • Diarrhea lasts more than 3 days and gets worse
  • Fever over 38°C
  • There is blood in the stool
  • Constant vomiting

Diagnosis of Salmonella Infection

To diagnose Salmonella infection or salmonellosis, the doctor will ask questions and answers about the symptoms experienced, medical history, and food or drink consumed by the patient in the last 24 hours.

Next, the doctor will carry out a thorough physical examination, such as checking the patient's vital signs and pressing on the abdomen to detect swelling.

To make a diagnosis, doctors can carry out supporting examinations, such as:

  • Stool examination , to find out the type of bacteria that causes infection
  • Blood tests, to look for signs of infection and dehydration

Treatment of Salmonella Infection

Treatment for Salmonella infection depends on the severity of the disease. In mild cases of salmonellosis, patients can generally carry out independent treatments at home, such as:

  • Drink enough water, to prevent dehydration
  • Avoid consuming food or drinks that can worsen symptoms, such as alcohol, caffeine, milk, oily foods, and spicy foods
  • Using warm pads, to reduce stomach cramps

Meanwhile, in severe cases, patients generally need to be hospitalized. The doctor will give an infusion of fluids to replace the lack of fluids due to diarrhea. Apart from that, doctors can also prescribe other medicines, namely:

  • Loperamide , to relieve diarrhea
  • Paracetamol, to relieve fever
  • Antibiotics , such as ciprofloxacin or thiamphenicol , to treat bacterial infections if the disease is very severe or the patient has a weak immune system

Salmonella Infection Complications

Salmonella infections generally don't cause serious complications or conditions. However, in some people, such as pregnant women, toddlers, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems, the following complications can occur:

  • Dehydration
    Dehydration can occur in people with salmonellosis who do not get enough fluids while experiencing persistent diarrhea. Immediately see a doctor if you experience symptoms of dehydration, such as decreased amount and frequency of urination, dry mouth and throat, and sunken eyes.
  • Bacteremia Salmonella
    infection can enter the bloodstream. This condition, called bacteremia , can cause inflammation throughout the body, causing damage to organs, such as the brain, heart, and blood vessels.
  • Reiter's syndrome or reactive arthritis
    Sufferers of Salmonella infection can experience Reiter's syndrome , which is inflammation of the joints caused by infection. Sufferers can experience eye irritation, pain when urinating, and joint pain.

Prevention of Salmonella Infection

To prevent Salmonella infection , there are several steps that can be taken, namely:

  • Washing hands before eating, cooking, after using the toilet, and after handling and cleaning animal waste
  • Washing food ingredients before consumption, such as vegetables or fruits
  • Avoid consuming raw or undercooked meat
  • Avoid consuming raw eggs or foods containing raw eggs
  • Separate storage of raw food from cooked food
  • Store red meat, poultry and seafood separately from other foods in the refrigerator
  • Use a separate cutting board for raw meat
  • Maintain the cleanliness of the kitchen along with the tools
  • Do not prepare food for others when you have diarrhea or vomiting
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