Salmonella - Symptoms

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What were the symptoms and signs you experienced with Salmonella infection?

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What are Salmonella poisoning symptoms?

Salmonellosis (gastroenteritis characterized by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea) is the most common disease caused by the organisms. Abdominal cramping also may occur. Blood may be present in the feces. Salmonellosis thus produces the symptoms that are commonly referred to as food poisoning. Symptoms usually begin about eight to 48 hours after ingestion of the bacteria. When a group of individuals who have access to the same food or water source suddenly develop these symptoms, Salmonella food poisoning is suggested. Although food poisoning is usually a mild disease, the nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can lead to dehydration and even death (about 500 per year in the U.S.). It is important to note that many other organisms (for example, viruses, E. coli, Shigella) and toxins (for example, botulism, mushroom toxin, or pesticides) can produce food poisoning symptoms. However, over 1.4 million cases of salmonellosis occur per year in the U.S., and the rest of industrialized countries have similar high rates. Countries with poor sanitation have a much higher incidence of salmonellosis. Unfortunately, the above symptoms can occur with many types of infectious organisms such as Shigella, Staphylococcus, Campylobacter, some additional bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.

Typhoid fever may share some of the same symptoms initially as Salmonella poisoning, but for typhoid fever, this time period is often termed the prodromal period. Typhoid fever occurs when some of the Salmonella organisms (often identified as Salmonella typhi or S. typhi) are not killed by the normal human immune defenses (macrophage cells) after they enter the gastrointestinal tract. Salmonella then survive and grow in the human spleen, liver, and other organs and may reach the blood (bacteremia). A few individuals may show no symptoms, but typhoid fever symptoms usually develop about five to 21 days after initial infection. Salmonella can be shed from the liver to the gallbladder, where they can continue to survive and be secreted into the patient's feces for up to a year or more. Symptoms of typhoid include high fevers with temperatures reaching up to 104 F, sweating, inflammation of the stomach and intestines, and diarrhea. Symptoms usually resolve, but many patients (about 3%) become Salmonella carriers. Approximately half of patients develop slow heartbeat (bradycardia), and about 30% of patients get flat, slightly raised red or rose-colored spots on the chest and abdomen. Typhoid fever is also referred to as enteric fever.

Paratyphoid fever, like typhoid fever, is also termed enteric fever. Paratyphoid fever has symptoms like typhoid, but it's usually not as severe. Subtypes are A, B, and C and vary by having small changes in symptoms, such as more rose spots (A), gastroenteritis in conjunction with herpes labialis and gastroenteritis (B), rarely, with septicemia and abscesses (C), S. paratyphi is the organism that causes this disease.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Worried Mom, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 05

My 15-year- old son experienced extreme fatigue at first followed a few hours later with diarrhea, chills, sweating and fever. Assuming it was just a bug, one was going around in his school, I did not take him to the doctor until he was passing blood in his stool three days later. (Talk about a serious guilt trip!) They took a stool sample, and the preliminary (next morning) results were negative for rotavirus, E. coli, shigella, and salmonella. We were told not to give Pepto or Immodium until the final results were in. (We were getting really worried and desperate for relief.) His fever subsided on day four (100 102 degrees), but his bloody diarrhea did not (about 20 times a day)! Three days after the sample was taken to the lab, we received a call that it indeed was salmonella. We were relieved to know what it was because he was not improving as we expected with "a bug"(6 days into illness). On day seven, he was started on a seven-day treatment of 500 mg amoxicillin, twice a day. We are hopeful that he responds quickly. This is by far the most severe illness he has experienced! We have no idea how he contracted it.

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Comment from: StillSick, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 22

It started with an upset stomach feeling that shortly led to diarrhea about 3 hours after eating rotisserie chicken. Then came chills with a fever of 102 through the night with the worst headache and neck pain ever following in the morning, lasting the whole day. I went to the emergency room and I feel that I was misdiagnosed with sinusitis. I came home and still a week later I have diarrhea and upset stomach. I have also been experiencing extremely weak legs, so I will be going back.

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