Fast Facts About Salmonella

Each year in the United States, around 40,000 people are diagnosed with salmonellosis, an intestinal disease caused by salmonella bacteria.

Mode of transmission: People usually catch salmonella by eating foods contaminated with animal feces and the food has not been heated enough to kill the bacteria.

Risk factors: Children under the age of 5 have a risk five times higher of infection than everyone else. Salmonella infections occur most frequently in the summer.

Gestation period: Symptoms usually develop in 12 to 72 hours. According to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person became ill in as many as 27 days after eating allegedly contaminated food from the Pars Cove booth at the 2007 Taste of Chicago festival.

Symptoms: The most common symptoms are fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

Duration: Four to 7 days

Treatment: Although the illness usually resolves on its own, patients at higher risk–”the elderly and children–”may need hospitalization to avoid potentially fatal dehydration. If the salmonella bacteria move beyond the intestines, doctors may prescribe antibiotics.

Fatality rate: Most cases are not fatal, though it’s estimated that 400 people die each year from the disease–”about one percent of all reported cases. No one died from eating at Pars Cove during the outbreak.

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