What is salmonellosis?

Salmonellosis is a type of food poisoning caused by the bacteria Salmonella. There are many different strains of these bacteria.

Salmonella serotype Typhimurium and Salmonellaserotype Enteritidis are the most common causes of salmonellosis in Europe.

Salmonella is more common during the warm months of the year. Small children, the elderly, as well as people with a weakened immune system are at a higher risk of developing the disease.

What are the symptoms of the disease?

Symptoms of salmonellosis are usually diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.

They usually develop 12 to 72 hours after infection and the illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment.

But sometimes the diarrhea can be so severe that it causes severe dehydration, requiring hospital treatment.

If you only have diarrhea, you will most likely make a full recovery, although it may take several months for bowel movements to return to normal as well.

A small proportion of people with salmonellosis develop Reiter’s syndrome, a disease that can last for months and years and can cause chronic arthritis.

What are the causes of salmonellosis?

You can develop salmonellosis after eating foods contaminated with salmonella bacteria. This can be done in the following several ways:

  • Food can be contaminated during production or processing.
  • Food can be contaminated when an infected worker in a plant where the food is produced, he processed it with unwashed hands. A common reason for the spread of the bacteria is not washing your hands after using the toilet.
  • Salmonella can be found in the feces of some domestic animals and more especially those with diarrhea. You can become infected if you haven’t washed your hands after coming into contact with these droppings.
  • Reptiles, small chickens and ducklings, as well as small rodents such as hamsters they are very often carriers of salmonella. You should always wash your hands immediately after touching any of these animals, even if the animal is healthy.
  • Adults should also be careful and remind their children wash their hands after touching or playing with reptiles, pet turtles, baby chickens, ducklings or small rodents.
  • Beef, poultry, eggs and milk most – are often infected with salmonella. But vegetables can also be infected. Contaminated foods usually look and smell normal.

Treatment for salmonellosis?

You can treat salmonellosis yourself by being careful not to allow complications to develop, until the disease passes.

Dehydration caused by diarrhea is the most common complication. Antibiotics are usually not needed if the infection has spread.

To prevent dehydration, drink a rehydrating drink frequently. Try to drink a glass of water or a rehydration drink with each severe bout of diarrhea you get.

Soda and fruit juices have too much sugar and little of the necessary electrolytes that are flushed out of the body with diarrhea and should not be consumed during rehydration.

Try to maintain your usual eating habits, but avoid very fatty, spicy and sweet foods. Maintaining a normal diet will help you recover faster.

How to protect yourself from the disease?

In order to effectively protect yourself from salmonella, we should observe several important hygiene and food safety measures.

The first and most basic step is to avoid eating raw or semi-raw eggs.

Eggs should be thoroughly cooked until the whites and yolks are completely set to kill bacteria.

We should also be careful with dairy products. Unpasteurized and unprocessed dairy products can be a source of salmonella.

Pasteurization is a process of heating milk to a high temperature in order to destroy harmful microorganisms.

It is recommended to take pasteurized dairy products and store them properly in the refrigerator.

Washing fruits and vegetables is an important practice to remove any microbes and preparations that may be present.

So, before consuming them, wash them with cold water and dry them with a clean towel. This is especially important for fruits and vegetables with bright skins that can be contaminated during handling and transportation.

To prevent the transmission of salmonella through contact, we must wash utensils and eating utensils carefully, especially after use.

Using hot soapy water is key to successfully removing harmful bacteria.

Hands are one of the main places through which germs enter our body. Therefore, it is very important to wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before preparing food.

If you suffer from or even suspect salmonellosis, it is essential that you do not prepare or serve food to other people.

It is extremely important to stay hydrated and seek medical attention for symptoms such as severe headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain.

Salmonellosis can be a serious illness, especially for susceptible groups such as babies, young children, the elderly or people with weakened immune systems.

Remember to wash your hands after contact with animal feces, whether it’s pets or farm animals.

By following these tips and being careful about the foods we eat and how we prepare them, we can reduce the risk of salmonella disease and provide a healthier diet for themselves and for their loved ones.

Health is our most valuable resource, so we must maintain it and treat it seriously and responsibly.

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