There are a large number of people who do not know thatsalmonella is actually a certain type of bacterium which can be found in theintestines of most types of mammals, reptiles and birds. Different types offoods, mainly of animal origin, are known for being the main agents inspreading the bacterium to humans. The medical condition associated with thistype of bacterium is called salmonellosis and it is characterized by a group ofsymptoms which include abdominal cramps, diarrhea and fever. Persons who sufferfrom weakened immune sysyems and poor underlying health are especially at risk,because salmonella may even invade their bloodstreams and trigger certain typesof medical conditions which tend to be fatal.
Salmonella is among the most common intestinal infections inthe United States. It is estimated by certain sources that there are more than1 million cases of salmonellosis each year. Out of all those cases, there arealmost 400 deaths triggered by this dreadful bacterium. Salmonella infectionscommonly occur when a human consumes any type of food which is contaminatedwith the feces that carry the harmful bacteria. Poultry, meat and eggs are thefood sources which are usually associated with the outbreaks of salmonella,especially when they are in their raw form or when they are undercooked.Contaminated water may also trigger the infection. There are two main differenttypes of salmonella and those are typhoidal salmonella and non-typhoidalsalmonella. Typhodial salmonella got its name because of its tendency to causeanother medical condition known as typhoid fever. This medical condition israther rare and it is triggered by the bacterium known as Salmonella Typhi.Non-typhoidal salmonella is much more common. The most frequent serotypes ofsalmonella such as salmonella enteriditis or salmonella javiana are usually theones which trigger this type of infection.
Symptoms of salmonellosis may vary greatly from person toperson, and in some cases a person does not experience any symptoms at all.Fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea are the most common ones of them all, asthey usually occur in most cases of salmonella infection. Once a personconsumes contaminated food or water, the symptoms usually start kicking inafter 6 to 72 hours. If the condition does not get treated the symptoms maylast for up to 7 days in some cases. Some cases of salmonella infection mayalso involve certain additional symptoms such as body aches, headaches,vomiting and a bloody diarrhea. The aforementioned typhoid fever usually kicksin approximately one week after the consumption of contaminated foods and itcan last up to two months in some cases. This is a very serious medical conditionwhich may sometimes even be fatal and it is commonly characterized by symptomssuch as enlarged organs, delirium, nosebleeds, coughing, painful sensations inthe abdomen, lethargy, weakness and high fever.
Complication, treatment and prevention of salmonella
There are several different types of salmonellacomplications and they usually occur in infants and older persons. Focalinfection is one of the common complications and it involves the rooting of thebacteria and the body tissues which leads to the development of medicalconditions such as endocartitis and arthritis. Another complication is reactivearthritis, characterized by inflammatory conditions of urinary organs, reproductiveorgans, eyes and the joints. In most cases, salmonellosis does not require anyspecific treatment plan. Some cases may involve the use of antibiotics. Inorder to prevent the salmonellosis in the first place one must always wash thehands thoroughly before preparing any type of food. Undercooked and raw foodsneed to be avoided as much as possible.
Magnitude of salmonella outbreaks
The term foodborne illness is the one used for all illnesseswhich are triggered by the consumption of food items contaminated by abacterium or virus. This type of illness may affect any group of people,related or non-related. In most cases the outbreaks of such illnesses aretriggered by a combination of certain unfortunate events. When the food is notstored properly, the bacteria are allowed to multiply to rather high number.The problem with insufficiently cooked food is that such processes may not beenough to kill all the harmful bacteria. Salmonella outbreaks can be local,when a certain group of individuals realize that after having a common meal,all of the members got ill. This usually happens in restaurants. Outbreaks ofsalmonella may also be widespread, and is a much bigger problem than the localoutbreaks, mainly due to the fact that it is usually rather hard to trace thesource of the outbreak. There was an outbreak of salmonellosis in Minnesota inwhich the source of the outbreak were cereal products produced in a factory,but the main problem was that they were all marketed under various brand namesin numerous different states. Since the market for the products was fairly big,it was rather hard to connect all the individual cases all across the countryto the same source.