Slamonellosis is one of the most common bacterial infections caused by bacterium named Salmonella typhimurium. Salmonellosis is a common food borne disease. Salmonellosis is seen in people of all age groups. Mostly children are likely to get infected with salmonella bacterium. People with a weak immune system are more likely to suffer with salmonellosis. Salmonella bacteria mainly affect the gastrointestinal system of the body. In severe cases salmonella bacterium spread to other parts of the body like blood, bones and brain.
Salmonella bacteria are generally found in the animal faeces and are commonly seen in summer season than in the winter. More than a million cases of slamonellosis are reported worldwide every year. There are more than 2500 strains of salmonella available all around the world that can cause infections in humans. Salmonella bacterium can survive for a longer time up to several months in dry environment.
Salmonellosis is a food borne illness caused by salmonella bacteria. Animals and birds acts as carriers for these organisms. Salmonella are generally transmitted to humans by eating contaminated food. Food contaminated with animal faeces can cause salmonellosis in humans.
The contamination of food can happen in the following ways:
- An infected person can also act as carrier to spread the infection. Infected person who does not maintain proper hygienic condition can transfer the organism to others.
- Pets can also carry salmonella bacteria, especially when they are suffering with diarrhoea. You need to wash your hands properly when coming in contact with the faeces of these pets.
- Reptiles and small rodents also carry salmonella bacterium that can cause salmonellosis in humans. Healthy animals also carry this organism so you need to be careful while handling these animals. Wash your hands when in contact with these animals. Animals like turtles, baby chicks or ducklings also carry salmonella bacterium.
- Animal products like beef, milk and eggs are generally infected with salmonella bacterium.
- In few cases fruits and vegetables also carry Salmonella bacterium when the infected animals come in contact with the vegetables and fruits.
The symptoms start appearing within 12 hours of infection. The time for visible symptoms can range from 12 hours to 3 days of infection. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Loss of appetite
Symptoms are more severe in patients suffering with HIV and diabetes. Patients suffering with HIV and diabetes have a weak immune system and thus the symptoms vary from mild to chronic.
You can prevent salmonellosis by following these basic tips:
- Wash your hands properly if you are suffering with salmonellosis to avoid the spread of infection. Wash your hands if you come in contact with salmonellosis patients or the animals that can carry salmonella bacterium.
- Avoid being in touch with reptiles that are suspected to carry salmonella bacterium.
- Avoid eating raw and undercooked animal products as the bacteria appear most often in animal food products. Animal food products like eggs, meat and poultry carries the bacterium.