Alternate Names : Samonellosis, Salmonella Food Poisoning
Salmonella infections are caused by one of more than 2,000 strains of a
bacterium known as Salmonella.
What is going on in the body?
Salmonella infections occur worldwide. People acquire Salmonella bacteria
from one another or from animals. Once the person swallows the bacteria, he or
she may develop an infection of the gastrointestinal system known as
This inflammation of the stomach and intestines commonly
causes stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Many animals may carry Salmonella bacteria. These include cats, dogs,
livestock, fish, birds, rodents, reptiles, and amphibians.
What are the causes and risks of the infection?
Salmonella infections are caused by one of the more than 2,000 strains of the
Salmonella bacteria. Salmonella infections are transmitted from animals to
people, or from person to person, in the following ways:
coming into contact with the feces of infected animals, especially
livestock, poultry, turtles, iguanas, and other reptiles
coming into contact with the feces of infected people
drinking contaminated water
eating any kind of food that is contaminated with animal feces, including
fruits and vegetables
eating food contaminated by a food handler with a Salmonella infection
eating raw poultry, eggs, unpasteurized milk, cheese products, and meat
that hasn't been properly handled or cooked
The risk of acquiring this infection is increased by the following:
being under 5 years of age or over 70 years of age
having a weakened immune system, including people with HIV or cancer
having liver disease
having stomach surgery