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A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Salmonella


Salmonella: Salmonella infection is usually caused by eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs or egg products. The incubation period ranges from several hours to 72-hours. Most salmonella infections can be classified as gastroenteritis.

Contamination is also possible if raw and cooked foods are stored together. Most tortoises and terrapins and other pet reptiles can also carry salmonella. Dogs, cats and rodents can occasionally become infected.

Possible signs and symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever, chills, headache, muscle pains and blood in the stool. Signs and symptoms of salmonella infection generally last four to seven days although it may take several months for your bowels to return to normal.

It is important to drink plenty of fluids as diarrhoea or vomiting can lead to dehydration and you can lose important sugars and minerals from your body. Anyone can get salmonella, but young children, the elderly and people who have immune systems that are not working properly (including people with cancer, AIDS or alcoholism) have a greater risk of becoming severely ill.

Salmonella can be spread from person to person by poor hygiene, by failing to wash your hands properly after going to the toilet, or after handling contaminated food.

Do you need to stay off work or school?  Yes. While you are ill and have symptoms, you are infectious. Children and adults should stay away from nursery, school or work for 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped. You should tell your employer you have had salmonella if you work with vulnerable groups such as the elderly, the young or those in poor health, or if you handle food.

Your doctor may recommend a rehydration solution, available from your pharmacist. If you become seriously ill, you may need hospital care because the dehydration caused by the illness can be life-threatening.

 


Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies
    


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