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Food and Illness

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Food Born Illness: Salmonella
Timothy Thomas
SCI/163

Salmonellosis is an infection that is caused by a Salmonella bacteria strain. Salmonella gains its name from being named after the American scientist who discovered the bacteria Daniel E. Salmon. ("CDC - General Information on Salmonella," n.d.) There are several different types of bacterial strains with the serotypes Salmonella Typhimurium and Salmonella Enteritidis being the two most common in the United States. Reported cases of a Salmonella infection tend to be more commen in the summer months with children under five years having the highest infection rate amoung age groups. While it is not the most dangerous of infections it can be fatal if the infection reaches the infected persons blood stream and causes an estimated 400 deaths per year due to acute salmonellosis. ("CDC - General Information on Salmonella," n.d.)
Food products are the most common transmission sources for salmonella with eggs and chicken being the two major causes of a salmonella infection. ("Transmission of Salmonella Bacteria | About Salmonella," n.d.) Eggs can carry the bacteria on the shell since they come out of the same passages that hens use to pass feces. For this reason eggs are required to be washed at processing, although that might not be enough to prevent the infection. Eggs can also become contaminated due to the bacteria going through the pores of the shells after they are laid, contamination can also occur if the bacteria is in the reproductive tract before the shells from. While salmonella is most prevalent due to animal feces fruits and vegetables are also at risk for contamination. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises against eating raw sprouts with the reasoning being that they need warm and humid conditions to sprout and grow which are also ideal conditions for the growth of the Salmonella bacteria. ("Transmission of Salmonella Bacteria | About Salmonella," n.d.)
In 2010 Andreas Baumler a professer of medical mircrobiology and immunology for University of California held a study to see the immune systems reaction to salmonella. His results showed that salmonella takes advantage of our immune systems reactions to continue infection spread in the body as well as put others at risk of infection. Bacteria must have energy in order to live and continue to reproduce and they can do that through respiration or fermentation. Since there is no oxygen in the intestine beneficial bacteria use the fermentation method to obtain energy. Salmonella upon invasion causes the immune system to respond by producing oxygen radicals in an attempt to kill off the bacteria, which does work against some of the bacteria however there are some that benefit from this and use that oxygen for respiration. This causes an inflammatory response which allows possible transmission from person to person. The response causes diarrhea and vomiting as the bodies attempt to cleanse itself which increases the chance of the spread of the infection. ("Salmonella outwits immune system - Futurity," n.d.) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have forty-one reported infections from an outbreak of the strain Salmonella Typhimurium in twenty-one states since January 11, 2014 with no deaths and a sixteen percent hospitalization rate. ("Typhimurium Infections Linked to Frozen Feeder Rodents | May 2014 | Salmonella | CDC," n.d.) The outbreak has been linked to frozen feeder rodent packaged by Retile Industries. The C.D.C. reports that the outbreak should be over since the infection rate has dropped to baseline levels but still recommend throwing out the feeder rodents and thoroughly washing hands with soap and water immediately after should you have to come in contact with one. ("Typhimurium Infections Linked to Frozen Feeder Rodents | May 2014 | Salmonella | CDC," n.d.)
Salmonella infections produce a variety of symptoms ranging from nothing at all to sever illness. “The most common clinical presentation is acute gastroenteritis ("Symptoms of Salmonella Infection | About Salmonella," n.d.) Common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, vomiting, and bloody stool. An individual infected with salmonellosis usually have a time table of three to seven days without treatment, however the bacteria can still be in the intestines and stool for upwards of a month. If the infection does reach the blood stream hospitalization and heavy antibiotics become the go to treatment as to prevent worsening conditions.
While there is no vaccine for the prevention of salmonellosis there are several steps that can be taken to help prevent infection and spread. Cooking poultry, beef, and eggs thoroughly and not eating them raw is perhaps the biggest precaution one can take. Washing utensils with soap and hot water right after they come into contact with raw food products help to stop the bacteria from setting and spreading from surface to surface. Washing your hands immediately after handling reptiles, birds, baby chicks, or coming into contact with pet feces help to kill off any bacteria you may have attracted. Improvements in farm animal hygiene, slaughter plant practices, and harvesting operations have helped to improve the prevention of salmonella outbreaks. ("CDC - Prevention - Salmonella," n.d.)

References
CDC - General Information on Salmonella. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/general/
CDC - Prevention - Salmonella. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/general/prevention.html
Salmonella Food Poisoning | About Salmonella. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.about-salmonella.com/
Salmonella outwits immune system - Futurity. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.futurity.org/salmonella-outwits-immune-system/
Symptoms of Salmonella Infection | About Salmonella. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.about-salmonella.com/salmonella_symptoms_risks/#.VASAyvldWSo
Transmission of Salmonella Bacteria | About Salmonella. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.about-salmonella.com/salmonella_transmission/#.VASBSvldWSo
Typhimurium Infections Linked to Frozen Feeder Rodents | May 2014 | Salmonella | CDC. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/typhimurium-rodents-05-14/index.html

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