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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Salmonella Infections

Salmonella Infections

Alternate Names : Samonellosis, Salmonella Food Poisoning

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

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 gastroenteritis. 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
  • using antacids


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    Salmonella Infections: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Danielle Zerr, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 09/04/01

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