Salmonella is the name of a group of bacteria. In the United States, it is the most common cause of foodborne illness. Salmonella occurs in raw poultry, eggs, beef, and sometimes on unwashed fruit and vegetables.
Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and headache. Symptoms usually last 4 - 7 days. Most people get better without treatment. It can be more serious in the elderly, infants and people with chronic conditions. If Salmonella gets into the bloodstream, it can be serious, or even life-threatening. The usual treatment is antibiotics.
You also can get a salmonella infection after handling pets, particularly reptiles like snakes, turtles and lizards. Typhoid fever, a more serious disease caused by Salmonella, frequently occurs in developing countries.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
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|Date last updated: 10 September 2008
Topic last reviewed: 26 June 2008