Salmonella poisoning is the most common type of food poisoning and it can affect anyone of any age and any gender. It is spread either via animals or the infected faeces of people via food or drinks. The foods most commonly associated with salmonella include poultry and raw eggs although any food can become infected with salmonella poisoning if it comes into contact with other contaminated food or if it is handled by a person who is infected.
Salmonella Poisoning Symptoms
Salmonella symptoms generally start to show within eight and seventy two hours after eating the infected food. The salmonella poisoning symptoms include:
• Nausea and vomiting
• A chill or fever
• Severe abdominal cramps or abdominal pain
• Multiple bouts of diarrhoea which may or may not be bloody
If the infected patient takes care to ensure they are completely hydrated, salmonella poisoning will usually go away on its own. The patient will see an improvement in their symptoms within two days and should be completely recovered within one week. However, in some cases salmonella poisoning can be life threatening especially if it is accompanied by severe dehydration. If you experience any of the following salmonella symptoms you should seek medical care immediately:
• Being unable to urinate or only urinating slightly
• Painful urination
• A change in awareness such as being unresponsive or passing out
• Behaviour or mental changes such as hallucinations, confusion, delusions or lethargy.
• Dry lips, tongue or mouth
If you suspect a child may have salmonella poisoning you will know for sure if they cry without tears, if they have a sunken soft spot on the top of their head and if they have no or very few wet diapers. If any of the above signs of salmonella are experienced you should phone for medical assistance immediately.
If the salmonella poisoning is not very severe the salmonella remedies required will be minimal. Generally in mild to moderate cases no medical help is required and adults may recover within one week. However, if the signs of salmonella fall into the latter category medical care should be sought. Salmonella treatment includes:
• Avoiding solid foods until all the salmonella symptoms have subsided
• Drinking a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration
• Antibiotics in moderate to severe cases or if a person falls into one of the high risk categories
• A hospital stay including intravenous fluids in the most severe cases
Salmonella Poisoning Prevention
There are a few steps that you can take for salmonella prevention. These are especially important if you have young children or the elderly living with you, if you are an owner of a pet reptile or if you share a house with a cancer, AIDS, irritable bowel system or sickle cell anaemia patient.
• Make sure you cook ground beef, poultry and eggs properly before eating.
• Avoid unpasteurised milk.
• Avoid food and drinks containing raw eggs including undercooked French toast, hollandaise sauce and homemade eggnog.
• Wash your hands, food surfaces and anything that has come into contact with raw food immediately afterwards.
• Wash your hands directly after handling animal faeces or a reptilian animal.
• Make sure to take extra care when preparing food for children or the elderly.