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What is Salmonellosis?

Salmonellosis is an infection with Salmonella bacteria. Most people who get infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, vomiting and abdominal cramps, 12 to 72 hours after infection. In most cases, the illness lasts 3 to 7 days; most affected persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient becomes dangerously dehydrated, and must be taken to a hospital.

At the hospital, the patients may receive intravenous fluids to treat their dehydration, and medications may be given to provide symptomatic relief, like fever reduction. In severe cases, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites, and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness. Some people afflicted with salmonellosis later experience reactive arthritis, which can have long-lasting, disabling effects.

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