Salmonellosis is an infection caused by bacteria known as Salmonella. Often this infection is enteric (intestinal), resulting in diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after exposure and lasting 4 to 7 days. In some cases, the diarrhea caused by the infection is severe enough to require hospitalization to prevent the spread of the disease to the blood stream and other parts of the body. Salmonella may result in death unless a patient is treated with antibiotics.
The Salmonella bacterium is one of the most common causes of intestinal infections. In 2010, Majowicz et al. estimated the annual global burden of Nontyphoidal Salmonella
Gastroenteritis at 93.8 million cases (80.3 million foodborne), which resulted in 155,000 deaths . According to the CDC, 40,000 cases are reported in the United States, although it is suspected that the total number of infections may be thirty or more times greater because mild cases may not be reported or recognized. The CDC reports: "Children are the most likely to get salmonellosis. The rate of diagnosed infections in children less than five years old is higher than the rate in all other persons. Young children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised are the most likely to have severe infections. It is estimated that approximately 400 persons die each year with acute salmonellosis."
1. The global burden of nontyphoidal Salmonella gastroenteritis. Majowicz SE, Musto J, Scallan E, Angulo FJ, Kirk M, O'Brien SJ, Jones TF, Fazil A, Hoekstra RM. Clin Infect Dis. 2010 Mar 15;50(6):882-9.
To Read About SalmonellaThe Salmonella Home Page (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Topics include: general information; prevention, diagnosis and treatment; and reports on outbreaks and surveillance.