What is Salmonella?
Salmonella is a type of bacteria. There are many types of Salmonella bacteria; for instance, there’s Salmonella typhi which causes typhoid fever, and Salmonella paratyphi which results in Parathyphoid fever.
However, these types are rare compared to the Salmonella bacteria that cause diarrheal diseases.
In general, Salmonella bacteria are “persistent”. According to the WHO, they can survive in a dry environment for several weeks and can live for months in a wet environment.
What is Salmonella Infection?
Salmonella infection, also called Salmonellosis, happens when a person gets the Salmonella bacteria in their body, typically through ingestion. This is why it’s considered a foodborne disease.
To prevent Salmonella infection, it’s important to understand that people can contract it by eating foods that are contaminated with the feces of infected animals.
Here are some important notes to remember about its transmission:
- Salmonella is common in animals that are available for human consumption, such as cows, chickens, and pigs. That’s why we can get it from meat, poultry, eggs, and milk.
- People who take care of infected animals may get the bacteria on their hands.
- Although it’s more common to get Salmonella infection from meat and poultry, you can also contract it from eating fruits and vegetables contaminated by an infected animal’s manure.
The Signs and Symptoms of Salmonella Infection
To prevent salmonella infection complications, you must be aware of its signs and symptoms.
After unknowingly ingesting Salmonella bacteria, a person commonly shows symptoms within 6 hours to 6 days, but typically within a day and a half. The signs and symptoms to watch out for are:
Salmonellosis often results in diarrhea or loose watery stools. At times, people with salmonella infections also experience bloody diarrhea. This is the reason why the WHO considers Salmonellosis as 1 of the 4 global “key diarrheal diseases.”