WHAT IS IT?
Salmonellosis is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. Salmonellosis is estimated to cause 1.2 million foodborne illnesses in the United States, 19,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths each year. Salmonellosis infections are more common in the summer than winter.
People become infected with salmonellosis by swallowing the bacterium. This can happen from:
- Drinking contaminated water.
- Eating contaminated food that has not been completely cooked, or was contaminated after it was prepared.
- From person to person if an infected person does not properly wash his/her hands after using the toilet.
- Contact with animals: including poultry, reptiles, swine, cattle, rodents, pets and their feces.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
- Abdominal cramps
Generally develop 12-72 hours after becoming infected and can last from 4-7 days.
HOW CAN I PREVENT CONTRACTING THIS DISEASE?
Currently there is no vaccine to prevent Salmonellosis. Most persons recover without antibiotics or treatment. Ill people should drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
You can help prevent the spread of Salmonellosis by:
- Cooking poultry to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) and cooking ground beef to an internal temperature of 155°F (68°C).
- Not eating or drinking foods containing raw eggs or unpasteurized milk.
- Frequently washing your hands vigorously with soap and warm water, especially after toilet visits, changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food.
- Washing hands with soap and water after handling reptiles and birds, and after contact with their feces.
- Washing kitchen surfaces with soap and water immediately after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry.
- Breastfeeding infants.
- Washing clothing and linens soiled with stool or vomit in hot water and soap, immediately.
- Not preparing food for at least 3 to 5 days after recovering from being ill.
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