Salmonella is a group of bacteria which causes an infection known as salmonellosis. Even though the bacteria do not produce any toxins which cause the disease, once they are inside the intestine they induce responses in the body. Hence, it is the body response that develops symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea with mucus. Headache and fatigue also will be associated with Salmonella infection.
Salmonella live in intestinal tracts of many animals including human beings and also birds. They get transmitted to the humans when the food gets contaminated by animal faces. Contaminated food is mostly of animal origin such as beef, poultry, milk and eggs. However, other food items and also vegetables may get contaminated. The contamination can also take place if food items are handled by unclean hands due to poor hygienic conditions. These germs may be found in feces of pets if they are suffering from diarrhea. People get infected if care is not exercised in washing hands after contact with pets.
Reptiles such as turtles, lizards and snakes are also carriers of these bacteria on their skin. Many chicks and young birds have the bacteria in their feces. If hands are not washed properly after getting in touch with any of these animals and birds, it can cause infection.
There is no vaccine to prevent the infection. People should avoid raw and undercooked animal meat. Raw egg is used in home made salad dressing and mayonnaise is also another source of Salmonella infection. One needs to be careful about such things. It is necessary to wash cutting boards, knives, counters and utensils thoroughly if they are in touch with uncooked foods.
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