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Chances are good you may contract Salmonella at some point in your life. In fact, approximately 42,000 confirmed cases of Salmonella are reported per year, but many milder cases go unreported, so the number of actual infections is much higher. Infections result in roughly 20,000 hospitalizations and 400 deaths per year. CDC General Report

Transmitted by consuming undercooked or raw meat or by contact with infected animals, Salmonella symptoms include fever, diarrhea and cramps. In people with a weak immune system, this disease can be more serious and in rare cases, fatal. Food Borne Diseases

Salmonella symptoms typically show up 72 hours after infection, lasting up to a week – and the majority of victims recover without treatment.

However if a case is severe, the victim may need to be hospitalized. In such instances, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines through the blood stream – which may cause death unless the victim is treated promptly with antibiotics.

Recent Salmonella outbreaks involve several antibiotic-resistant strains of the disease – putting a large percentage of victims in the hospital, according to the CDC.

Sources of Salmonella

Salmonella is contracted through contaminated eggs, poultry, meat, unpasteurized milk or juice, cheese, contaminated raw fruits and vegetables (alfalfa sprouts, melons), spices, and nuts.

Animals and their environment may also be sources of Salmonella, in particular reptiles (snakes, turtles, lizards), amphibians (frogs) and birds (baby chicks).

Salmonella bacteria can be reduced or eliminated by avoiding at risk foods – such as undercooked meat or eggs – and cooking foods fully and properly. Food Safety Report

For more information about how to prevent Salmonella poisoning, visit First Aid Infections

Long-Term Effects of Salmonella Food Poisoning

Usually, symptoms last 4-7 days and most people get better without treatment. But, Salmonella can cause more serious illness in older adults, infants, and persons with chronic diseases. Food Safety

There are additional risks associated with Salmonella food poisoning: individuals may recover from the short-term symptoms of infection, but then suffer long-term effects.  A small number of persons with Salmonella develop pain in their joints, irritation of the eyes and painful urination — called reactive arthritis. This can last for months or years, and can lead to chronic arthritis, which is difficult to treat. Antibiotic treatment does not make a difference in whether or not the person develops arthritis. CDC General Report

Legal Consultation

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by Salmonella or any other type of food poisoning, you may want to contact a CaseyGerry attorney.

CaseyGerry, based in San Diego, is one of the oldest and most respected plaintiffs and personal injury firms in California. For more information call (619) 238-1811.

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