Salmonella is a type of food poisoning.
Ways to get salmonella * Food may be contaminated during food processing or food handling. * Food may become contaminated by the unwashed hands of an infected food handler. A frequent cause is a food handler who does not wash his or her hands with soap after using the bathroom. * Salmonella may also be found in the feces of some pets, especially those with diarrhea. You can become infected if you do not wash your hands after contact with these feces. * Reptiles, baby chicks and ducklings, and small rodents such as hamsters are particularly likely to carry Salmonella. You should always wash your hands immediately after handling one of these animals, even if the animal is healthy. Adults should also be careful that children wash their hands after handling reptiles, pet turtles, baby chicks or ducklings, or small rodents.
• How is this infectious agent transmitted through food or water? * A salmonella infection is a foodborne illness caused by the salmonella bacteria carried by some animals, which can be transmitted from kitchen surfaces and can be in water, soil, animal feces, raw meats, and eggs.
• What is an example of a real life outbreak of this foodborne illness in the United States?
Two separate outbreaks linked to live baby poultry are sickening people across the country, according to two announcements from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday. Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak The first outbreak, caused by a strain of Salmonella Typhimurium, has sickened 146 people in 26 states since early March, when the outbreak began.
• What are the clinical symptoms, duration of the disease, and treatment if any?
Treatment for enteritis or food poisoning is controversial. Some doctors recommend no antibiotics since the disease is self-limited, while others suggest using antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Cipro XR, Proquin XR) for 10-14 days. Some medical investigators believe antibiotics prolong the carrier state.
However, patients with suppressed immune systems (for example, patients with AIDS, undergoing cancer chemotherapy, infants under 2 months of age, or the elderly) should receive antibiotics. They may require hospitalization and be managed by an infectious disease consultant. In addition, pregnancy often predisposes the mother to get all types of food poisoning, including Salmonella. Pregnant females should take care to wash and cook foods well before eating. They should contact their OB/GYN doctor if they begin to have any signs of dehydration, especially if they develop a fever above 101 F.
• What steps can be taken to prevent further outbreaks? Include individual as well as fortunately the spread of Salmonella bacteria from reptiles to humans can be easily prevented by using the following routine precautions:
Always wash your hands with hot, soapy water after handling reptiles, reptile cages and equipment, and the stool of reptiles.
Do not allow reptiles to have access to the kitchen, dining