Salmonellosis includes several infectious diseases caused by a entérobactérie, salmonella. How is spread salmonellosis ? What are its symptoms ? How is it treated ?
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What are the modes of contamination of salmonella ?
The enterobacteria belonging to the genus salmonella are naturally present in the gastrointestinal tract of some mammals and birds. These bacteria may be transmitted to humans through the vector of food. In effect, the salmonellae contained in animal faeces are particularly resistant and can survive in the environment (soils, water, pastures…) for several months.
Thus, the main mode of contamination of the animal to the human takes place by means ofraw food infected with the bacterium. Eggs, dairy products and undercooked meats represent the products most frequently incriminated in the framework of salmonellosis. It should however be noted that the bacteria can also infect humans by simple contact with an animal’s contaminated, even if the transmission remains more anecdotal.
The different salmonella
There is not one, but several types of salmonella, which differ from each other in function of the bacteria that cause. Thus, salmonella are likely to cause :
- salmonellosis non-typical : in particular, they are caused by Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella typhimurium.
- fevers typhoïdes and paratyphoïdes : they are the result respectively of contamination by Salmonella typhi and Salmonella paratyphi A, B or C.
Immunocompromised individuals, infants and the elderly are populations at high risk of contamination.
More and more cases of infections related to Samonella typhimirium are identified. The contamination is often achieved through the use of meats.
What are the symptoms of salmonellosis ?
The period of incubation ranges between 6 and 48 h after the ingestion of the food contaminated by salmonella. The first symptoms of a salmonella non-typical vary in function of the bacteria incriminated :
- headache ;
- abdominal cramps ;
- diarrhea ;
- fever ;
- nausea ;
- vomiting ;
Of his hand, typhoid fever is more serious. This food-borne infection usually results in :
- digestive disorders major ;
- a high fever.
When it is not taken care of early, this particular form of salmonella can lead to gastrointestinal bleeding, encephalitis, or myocarditis. The fever paratyphoid, it has similar symptoms to typhoid fever but intensity is less important.
What is the treatment for an infection with salmonella ?
The support of salmonellosis depends mainly on its origin. Thus, the conditions are not typical, so-called “minor”, and generally do not require specific treatment in the adult and in good health. Only sufficient hydration is indicated to compensate for fluid losses caused by diarrhea and/or vomiting. Nevertheless, the frail and the young children are often placed under antibiotic therapy. This is also the case for the fevers typhoïdes and paratyphoïdes.
How to avoid contamination ?
To minimize the risk of contracting an infection with salmonella, it is appropriate to apply simple rules of hygiene :
- wash hands after contact with an animal ;
- wash hands after touching foods that might be contaminated include : vegetables, meat, eggs, etc.;
- thoroughly clean the cooking utensils in contact with these foods.
- do not wash the shell of the egg before you store it in the refrigerator ;
- be sure to maintain the cold chain ;
- respect the best before dates ;
- cook enough meat ;
- prepare at the last moment preparations with a basis of raw eggs ;
- do not give preparations with a basis of raw food to babies, young children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.