(Meredith/CDC) – We've all been told not to eat foods contaminated with Salmonella. But why? What exactly is Salmonella and how does it make us sick?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has done quite a bit of research on the topic, and here’s what they discovered.
To put it simply, Salmonella is a bacterium that makes people sick. Salmonella is the name of a group of bacteria and is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the United States.
Usually, symptoms (listed below) last 4-7 days and most people get better without treatment. But, Salmonella can cause more serious illness in older adults, infants, and persons with chronic diseases, according to FoodSafety.gov.
Salmonella was discovered by an American scientist named Dr. Salmon and has been known to cause illness for more than 125 years. The illness people get from a Salmonella infection is called salmonellosis.
Every year, Salmonella is estimated to cause one million foodborne illnesses in the United States, with 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths.
Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment.
However, in some persons, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms:
Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including:
Anyone exhibiting these signs after having contact with potentially contaminated foods should contact their healthcare providers.
In some cases, some pet foods can be contaminated by Salmonella. If your pet starts showing the following symptoms, they may have an infection:
Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
The CDC has provided a list of tips for you to minimize your chances of getting Salmonella:
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