Salmonellosis is known as an illness caused by Salmonella bacteria. The discovery of Salmonella family was made by the American scientist Daniel E. Salmon in the late 1800s. Since that time scientists have identified thousands of Salmonella bacteria types and serotypes (more than 2.4 thousand).
According to scientific researches, Salmonella bacteria can be found in the feces of some animals (mostly reptiles). Feces are able to contaminate the reptiles' skin. That's why people who have those animals are at greater risk of getting salmonellosis. However, this risk can easily be reduced by regular hand washing.
Salmonellosis disease can also be caused by bacteria living in different foods contaminated with feces of animals (for example, if eggs, beef and poultry are not processed within the public health standards limits). It's worth admitting that fruit and vegetables can also be the source of salmonellosis (in case they are grown in the soil contaminated with feces).
Speaking about salmonellosis it's necessary to mention how it can be spread. Firstly, salmonella bacteria leave the body of infected person with stools. That's why the easiest way to get the disease is via shaking hands with the sick person, who hasn't washed the hands after going to the bathroom. At the same time of the ways the salmonella bacteria spreads is via contaminated water, milk or food. Salmonellosis can be caught through the contact with infected animal (particularly, swine, poultry, cattle, rodents) and pets - as it has already been mentioned - reptiles, terrapins, dogs, cats, ducklings.
What are common salmonellosis symptoms? People exposed to salmonella usually experience abdominal pains, mild to severe diarrhea, fever and occasional vomiting during several days. In severe cases the disease can affect bones, blood or even fluid around brain. That's why pain may be present there.
As a rule, the mentioned symptoms appear 12 to 36 hours after the salmonellosis exposure. Whether the person has an infection or not can be inferred from certain analysis of the stool sample. The majority of people has salmonella bacteria inside of them, but gets rid of them without any treatment.
Who is likely to get salmonellosis? According to medical investigations there are several groups of people who are particularly at risk from infection. As a rule, these are people with weakened immune system, infants, children under 5 years of age, elderly people and pregnant women.
It's worth admitting that recovery from salmonellosis can be achieved within a week. To prevent dehydration the person should drink plenty of fluids. In severe cases antibiotic treatment can be a must (especially for the groups of people mentioned above). Be aware that antibiotics are not recommended for people with typical intestinal infections. If some side-effects occur - consult your doctor immediately.
Salmonellosis is pretty easy to be prevented: wash your hands after the bathroom as well as before eating, cook all meals thoroughly, disinfect all utensils and food preparation surfaces, etc.