Salmonellosis is an acute intestinal disease of humans and animals, the causative agent of which is salmonella – bacteria with a flagellum, capable of movement, having the shape of a stick.
Salmonellosis is widespread in nature, it affects many species of mammals (cattle, pigs, rodents) and birds. The prevalence of salmonellosis in birds is ten times higher than in domestic animals.
The source of human infection is food products that have not undergone proper culinary processing. Infection of people from one to another is also likely if hygiene rules are not followed.
Among the products – sources of salmonellosis in the first place are eggs and poultry meat. Next come meat and dairy products.
The cause of the disease can also be wild birds (pigeons, sparrows), which, penetrating into residential and industrial premises, can contaminate food.
The incidence of salmonellosis increases in the warm season, due to the deterioration of food storage conditions.
Incubation period for salmonellosis can last from several hours to 3 days. More often, it takes about 12-24 hours from eating poor-quality food to the first symptoms.
The disease develops rapidly. The temperature rises to 28-39 ° C. There are pains in the abdomen, which can be localized in the epigastrium, the umbilical region, the left iliac fossa (on the left in the supragroinal region). Vomiting is characteristic 1-2 times a day, loose stools up to 5-7 times a day, greenish in color, having a fetid odor, rumbling in the stomach. There are symptoms of general intoxication in the form of headache, fatigue, lack of appetite.
In severe forms of the disease, the liver and spleen are involved in the process, which leads to their enlargement. In extremely severe cases, the disease proceeds in the form of sepsis.
Subclinical forms of salmonellosis (without obvious symptoms) or carriage are widespread: when a person is infected with salmonella, she releases it into the environment and is contagious to others, but does not notice signs of the disease. Carriage of salmonellosis among employees of food units, canteens, children’s and medical institutions is especially dangerous.
After the illness, a strong immunity is not produced, a person can get sick again.
Read more: How is salmonellosis treated?
Treatment and prevention of salmonellosis
For the prevention of salmonellosis, it is not recommended to eat raw, uncooked and uncooked eggs and dishes from them (fried eggs, eggs “in a bag”), raw milk, raw and half-cooked meat. Even after freezing, Salmonella perfectly retain their pathogenic properties.
If symptoms of an intestinal infection appear in one of the family members, it is necessary to follow the quarantine rules: do not eat from the same dish with him, do not use common hygiene products.
Treatment of salmonellosis should take place under the mandatory supervision of a physician. The disease is especially dangerous for young children under one year old and the elderly. In the treatment, sorbents, agents that restore fluid loss, antispasmodics, and antibiotics are used. Salmonella bacteriophage can be used.
The salmonellosis vaccine has no practical application, due to the large variety of Salmonella strains.