Salmonella infection - Symptoms, causes and treatment

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Salmonella infection - Symptoms, causes and treatment
Salmonella infection - Symptoms, causes and treatment

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 feces or feces. 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.

Salmonella infection - Alodokter

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

The Cause 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 or seafood
  • Unpasteurized milk or dairy products
  • Raw or undercooked eggs
  • Unwashed fruit 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 by touching, hugging, or kissing an animal, such as an iguana, chick, chick, or turtle.

Risk factors for Salmonella infection

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

  • Below 5 years old (toddler) or over 65 years old (elderly)
  • Has a weak immune system
  • Living in a neighborhood with poor sanitation
  • Consuming certain drugs, such as corticosteroids, antibiotics, and antacids
  • Suffering from inflammatory bowel disease
  • Have a pet at home, such as a dog or cat

Salmonella Infection Symptoms

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
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lost appetite

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

When to see a doctor

Consult a doctor if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, especially if:

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

Salmonella Infection Diagnosis

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

Furthermore, the doctor will perform a thorough physical examination, such as checking the patient's vital signs and pressing the abdomen to detect swelling.

To establish a diagnosis, the doctor can perform supporting examinations, such as:

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

Treatment of Salmonella Infection

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

  • Drink enough water, to prevent dehydration
  • Avoid consumption of foods or drinks that can worsen symptoms, such as alcohol, caffeine, dairy, 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 a fluid infusion to replace the lack of fluids due to diarrhea. In addition, 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 do not 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:

  • DehydrationDehydration can occur in patients 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 number and frequency of urination, dry mouth and throat, and sunken eyes.

  • BacteremiaSalmonella infection can enter the bloodstream. This condition, known as bacteremia, can cause inflammation throughout the body, causing damage to organs, such as the brain, heart, and blood vessels.

  • Reiter's syndrome or reactive arthritisPatients with Salmonella infection may experience Reiter's syndrome, which is inflammation of the joints caused by infection. Patients may experience eye irritation, pain when urinating, and joint pain.

Salmonella Infection Prevention

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

  • Wash 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 with cooked food
  • Keep red meat, poultry and seafood separately from other foodstuffs in the refrigerator
  • Use a separate cutting board for raw meat
  • Maintaining the cleanliness of the kitchen along with the utensils
  • Don't prepare food for others when you have diarrhea or vomiting

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