You may be wondering where I came up with this topic; I’ll tell you. My best friend’s daughter-in-law, Ayça, and the mother of the cutest and smartest little girl both got infected with salmonella last week. It seems to be more prevalent in the summer.
She asked if I would write a post on Salmonella and I couldn’t say no, because she is the person who convinced me to start this blog in 2015.
Salmonella infection usually results from ingestion of the bacteria from contaminated food, water or hands. Eggs, milk, meat or poultry are particularly high-risk foods. Fruit and vegetables may also be contaminated, especially if manure has been used as fertilizer.
People may become infected if they transfer animal feces containing Salmonella bacteria from their hands to their mouth. For example, eating after touching animals and not washing one’s hands.
If there are pets in the house and you end up being infected, immediately check to see if the pet has diarrhea.
Person-to-person spreading may occur when hands, objects or food becomes contaminated with feces from people who are infected and spread to other people.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms may include:
- loss of appetite
- stomach cramps
- nausea and vomiting.
Sometimes, there may be blood or mucus in the feces. Dehydration is a serious complication. The illness may be particularly severe in young children, the elderly and people with a suppressed immune system.
It is said that a small percentage of people may develop arthritis after a Salmonella infection.
Diagnosis is made by growing Salmonella bacteria from a fecal specimen or by detecting Salmonella in a fecal sample using a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test in a pathology laboratory.
This is the time between becoming infected and developing symptoms.
6 to 72 hours, usually 12 to 36 hours.
Ayça, given the above, I can’t figure out how the nurse got infected. Does the time frame make sense to you?
This is the time period during which an infected person can infect others.
The feces are always infectious when symptoms are present. Some people continue to carry Salmonella bacteria in their bowels and shed them in their feces for months after recovering.
Keep this VERY IMPORTANT hygienic warning in mind.
Recovery from Salmonella infection usually occurs within a week and antibiotics are normally not required.
Salmonella infection is one of the many possible causes of gastroenteritis, and the following treatment is usually recommended.
- Give plenty of fluids. My recommendation includes drinking water with a tablespoon full of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar in it (the mother should be in the bottle).
- Mildly unwell children should be given their usual fluids more often. Carbonated drinks and undiluted juice should be avoided.
- Medicine to prevent vomiting or diarrhea should not be given (especially to children), except when specifically advised by a doctor.
- Breastfed babies should continue to be breastfed throughout their illness.
- Children on formula or solid food diets should restart their normal diets following rehydration with oral rehydration solution.
- Children, who are hungry or ask for food should be given small portions of their usual foods, but avoid foods high in sugar or fat.
When to Seek Medical Advice
Seek medical advice if any of the following symptoms occur:
- Signs of dehydration, such as thirst and decreased urination, dry mouth, feeling faint while standing
- Severe abdominal pain
- Bloody diarrhea
- Do not send people infected with Salmonella to childcare, preschool, school, and work until there has been no diarrhea for 24 hours. If one works in the food business this period should be 48 hours.
- Infants, children, and adults with Salmonella infection should not swim until there has been no diarrhea for 24 hours.
- Meat should be cooked thoroughly, until the juices run clear.
- Do not purchase dirty or cracked eggs.
- Adhere to strict food handling procedures at home and try not to eat outside.
- Do not consume unpasteurized milk. Adults should not drink milk anyway.
- Follow good hand washing and keeping areas clean procedures.
- Recognize the risk of Salmonella infections in pets.
- Always wash fruit and vegetables before eating. I advise washing with a water vinegar solution. It will wash away the pesticides and insecticides for sure and could probably help eliminate Salmonella bacteria also.
- Babies and small children without diarrhea who are not toilet trained should wear tight fitting, waterproof pants or swimming diapers in swimming pools and changed regularly.
- Swimming pools should be properly disinfected.
Now, some general advice from me:
- Keep your immune system in top shape. Consume prebiotics, probiotics, and fermented vegetables daily to help achieve this. For children, I suggest probiotic capsules you can buy in a pharmacy.
- Don’t eat, and DON’T LET YOUR CHILDREN EAT:
- Anything in a can, plastic bottle, wrapper, or with a “list of ingredients” on it,
- Anything you see advertised on TV,
- Anything with sugar or artificial sweeteners in it.
- If you succumb and buy something in a can, MAKE SURE THAT THE CAN IS NOT PUFFED UP; THIS MEANS BACTERIA AND MOST PROBABLY SALMONELLA.
I could go on, but most of you have read this all before.
That’s it. See you all next week.