Definition of Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis: Infection with bacteria belonging to the genus Salmonella. Salmonellosis is a common cause of food poisoning as, for example, from raw eggs. It is also transmitted by a wide variety of animals including infected pet reptiles and amphibians (snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs, turtles), chickens, ducklings, hamsters, dogs and cats.

The symptoms of salmonellosis usually begin within 12 to 24 hours of exposure to the bacteria and include stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, and sometimes vomiting. The diagnosis can be confirmed by examination of a stool sample for the Salmonella bacteria.

Most people exposed to Salmonella feel well within a few days and do not require treatment other than extra fluids. Some people need antibiotics. And a few need hospitalization for diarrhea and dehydration. Salmonellosis is particularly dangerous in people with immunodeficiency and in people with sickle cell anemia.

If the infection spreads from the intestines, it may be treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately, some Salmonella bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, largely as a result of the use of antibiotics to promote the growth of feed animals.

Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016

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