Salmonella: the basics

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Salmonella, the name of a group of bacteria, is the most common cause of food poisoning in the United States. Usually, symptoms last 4-7 days and most people get better without treatment. But, salmonella can be more serious in older adults, infants, and persons with chronic illnesses.

Sources
Food: Contaminated eggs, poultry, unpasteurized milk or juice, cheese, contaminated raw fruits and vegetables (alfalfa sprouts, melons)
Animals and their environment: Particularly reptiles (snakes, turtles, lizards), amphibians (frogs),and birds (baby chicks). If you don’t wash your hands carefully after touching an animal or its environment, you could get a Salmonella infection.

Incubation Period
1-3 days

Symptoms
Diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, vomiting

Duration of Illness
4-7 days

What Do I Do?
Drink plenty of fluids and get rest. If you cannot drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration or if your symptoms are severe, call your doctor. Antibiotics may be used if the infection spreads from the intestines.

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