Salmonella is a bacterium found in animals such as birds, reptiles and mammals. The bacterium is most common in poultry and pigs. The bacterium mainly lives in the intestines of these animals, but can also occur almost everywhere in the faeces.
Salmonella grows best below a temperature of 37°C. However, most types of salmonella can already grow from 7°C-10°C. The thermoresistance of salmonella is low, which means that salmonella does not survive pasteurization.
Salmonella can be found in various foods. The most well-known examples are raw meat, raw egg and raw fruits and vegetables.
The most common way salmonella develops in humans is through ingestion of contaminated food. About 85% of the infections take place in this way and 5%-10% through direct contact with animals.
An infection can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. How sick someone gets depends on the amount of Salmonella, the type of Salmonella and the resistance of the person. Some are extra difficult to treat because they are resistant to antibiotics. A light infection can cause stomach and intestinal complaints, which will disappear after a few days. After an infection, the bacteria affect the small intestine, where the bacteria causes inflammation.
Salmonella can in exceptional cases also penetrate into the bloodstream, which can affect organs, bones and joints. This can cause joint inflammation or long-term abdominal complaints such as cramps, diarrhoea or constipation.
Infection with Salmonella can be fatal if the patient becomes dehydrated and the kidney function stops, but also in case of blood poisoning and shock the patient can die.
The incubation period, which is the period between infection and the first symptoms of disease, is generally between 8-72 hours. In general, the first symptoms appear between 12-36 hours.
- Pregnant women.
- Young children up to 5 years.
- People with immune disorders.
- Patients with blood vessel abnormalities.
- Patients with biliary or urinary tract abnormalities.
- Patients with cancer.
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