Salmonella Enterocolitis is a type of infection caused by bacteria called Salmonella. This infection affects the small intestine’s lining, causing a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms. Mild infection typically goes away after about a couple of days to less than a week, but in people with weak or compromised immune system, the infection could lead to life-threatening complications.
Mode of Transmission
The mode of transmission for Salmonella Enterocolitis is through the oral route. The individual ingests food or water contaminated with the bacteria, and once the bacteria enter the body, symptoms will start to develop within a day or two.
Food can easily be contaminated by unsanitary things and improper preparation. Infected rodents and cockroaches could have come into contact with food; drinking water could have been contaminated by the urine of an infected animal; undercooked meat and egg could have been served.
Symptoms of Salmonella Enterocolitis
As mentioned earlier, symptoms of Salmonella Enterocolitis start developing as early as eight hours after the infection, although some people start experiencing the symptoms after about a couple of days.
The most common symptom is abdominal cramps with pain and tenderness upon palpation of the abdominal area. As the infection progresses, diarrhea and loose, watery stool start to accompany the abdominal cramping. The patient also develops fever with chills and muscle aches and pains. There will also be nausea and vomiting.
Diagnosing the Infection
The physician will perform a physical examination on the patient to look for signs of Salmonella Enterocolitis. Apart from a tender abdominal area suggestive of an infection, the doctor will also look for rose spots. These are tiny pink spots that can be seen on the skin.
These tests are not conclusive though, so laboratory examinations will still be ordered. The diagnosis of Salmonella Enterocolitis can be confirmed by stool culture as well as blood culture. Complete blood count or CBC with differential will also be taken, in addition to febrile as well as cold agglutinins.
Treating Salmonella Enterocolitis
Since there is diarrhea and vomiting, the doctor will place the patient on oral rehydration to replace the fluids as well as electrolytes the patient lost. This will also help with dehydration. Probiotics may also be prescribed to help with the diarrhea. For fever and body aches and pains, the patient is usually given antipyretic medications as well as ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
In addition to medications, the patient is also asked to start on a BRAT diet; meaning, banana, rice, applesauce, and toast diet. These are rich in fiber, and it can help with the loose, watery stools, making it firmer.
The prognosis for Salmonella Enterocolitis is good, if the patient is healthy. However, for those with weak and compromised immune system, recovery can take a long time. Complications such as meningitis as well as blood infection could also occur, necessitating prolonged hospital stay.
Preventing Salmonella Enterocolitis
Salmonella Enterocolitis can easily be prevented by making sure the food is thoroughly washed, properly prepared, and appropriately cooked. This can also be prevented by making sure there are no salmonella-carrying pests such as rodents and cockroaches in the home.
If there are pests in your property, you need to get rid of them. Place traps, clean your home, or hire a local pest control company.
Jennifer Daggett, a blogger and a freelance content provider, specializes in pest control articles. If you want to know more about controlling pests, click here to learn tips for getting rid of them.