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Salmonella

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Salmonella

What is the infectious agent (pathogen) that causes this infectious disease? For example, the name of the bacteria, virus, or parasite. Salmonellosis is an infection with bacteria called Salmonella. The Salmonella consist of a range of very closely related bacteria, many of which cause disease in humans and animals. There are many different kinds of these bacteria. Salmonella serotype Typhimurium and Salmonella serotype Enteritidis are the most common types in the United States. Salmonella infection is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. Salmonella bacteria typically live in animal and human intestines and are shed through feces. Humans become infected more frequently through contaminated water or food.
How is this infectious agent transmitted through food or water? Salmonella is transmitted through food or water during food/water processing or food/water handling. Not separating cooked foods from ready-to-eat foods. Using utensils on cooked foods that were previously used on raw foods and placing cooked foods on plates where raw foods once were while haven’t been cleaned thoroughly. Eating high-risk foods like raw or lightly cooked eggs, undercooked ground beef or poultry, and unpasteurized milk makes it easy to transmit salmonella. Not keeping food properly refrigerated before cooking. The number one cause is a food handler who does not wash his or her hands with soap after using the bathroom.
What is an example of a real life outbreak of this foodborne illness in the United States? Every year Salmonella is estimated to cause one million illnesses in the United States, with 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths. United States salmonellosis outbreak began in the spring of 2008 when hundreds of people throughout the United States fell ill after consuming contaminated food. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently believes that the contaminated food products responsible are fresh jalapeño and serrano peppers from Mexico, and raw tomatoes. From April 10 to July 31, 2008, the salmonella enterica caused at least 1329 cases of salmonellosis food poisoning in 43 states throughout the United States and in the District of Columbia. It was the largest reported salmonellosis outbreak in the United States since 1985.
What are the clinical symptoms, duration of the disease, and treatment if any? Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. They develop 12 to 72 hours after infection, and the illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. However, diarrhea and dehydration may be so severe that it is necessary to go to the hospital. You treat salmonellosis by managing any complications until it passes. Dehydration caused by diarrhea is the most common complication. Antibiotics are not usually needed unless the infection has spread.
What steps can be taken to prevent further outbreaks? Include individual as well as environmental precautions and methods. Wash your hands before and after every activity always. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your pocket. Avoid eating high-risk foods including raw or lightly cooked eggs, undercooked ground beef or poultry, and unpasteurized milk. Keep food properly refrigerated before cooking. Clean hands with soap and warm water before handling food. Clean surfaces before preparing food on them. Separate cooked foods from ready-to-eat foods. Do not use utensils on cooked foods that were previously used on raw foods and do not place cooked foods on plates where raw foods once were unless it has been cleaned thoroughly. Cook foods to a safe internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to a safe temperature. Chill foods promptly after serving and when transporting from one place to another.

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