Salmonella enterocolitis is a bacterial infection in the lining of the small intestine that is caused by salmonella bacteria. It is a type of food poisoning.
Salmonellosis; Nontyphoidal salmonella; Food poisoning - salmonella; Gastroenteritis - salmonella
Salmonella infection is one of the most common types of food poisoning. It occurs when you swallow food or water that contains salmonella bacteria.
The salmonella germs may get into the food you eat in several ways.
You are more likely to get this type of infection if you:
The time between getting infected and having symptoms is 8 to 72 hours. Symptoms include:
Exams and Tests
Your health care provider will perform a physical exam. You may have a tender abdomen and develop tiny pink spots, called rose spots, on your skin.
Tests that may be done include:
The goal is to make you feel better and avoid dehydration. Dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should.
These things may help you feel better if you have diarrhea:
If your child has salmonella, it is important to keep them from getting dehydrated. At first, try 1 ounce (2 tablespoons or 30 milliliters) of fluid every 30 to 60 minutes.
Medicines that slow diarrhea are often not given because they may make the infection last longer. If you have severe symptoms, your provider may prescribe antibiotics if you:
If you take water pills or diuretics, you may need to stop taking them when you have diarrhea. Ask your provider.
In otherwise healthy people, symptoms should go away in 2 to 5 days, but they may last for 1 to 2 weeks.
People who have been treated for salmonella may continue to shed the bacteria in their stool for months to a year after the infection. Food handlers who carry salmonella in their body can pass the infection to the people who eat the food they have handled.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your provider if:
If your child has symptoms, call your provider if your child has:
Learning how to prevent food poisoning can reduce the risk for this infection. Follow these safety measures:
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DuPont HL. Approach to the patient with suspected enteric infection. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 283.
Haines CF, Sears CL. Infectious enteritis and proctocolitis. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 110.
Semrad CE. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 140.
Review Date: 2/24/2018
Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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