Salmonellosis is infection of the body by salmonella, a type of bacteria that lives in the gut of certain animals including cattle, poultry, reptiles, fish and shellfish. In humans, salmonella is a pathogen which means it causes problems when allowed to grow in the body.
Salmonella is not normally present in the human body but can be transmitted when we ingest food contaminated with it - usually raw or lightly-cooked products such as eggs, meat, fish and milk. Examples of salmonella infection include the recent scandal of contaminated baby milk, and the US salmonella epidemic in 1994 caused by contaminated ice cream in which more than 220,000 people were infected...
The risk of salmonella infection from cooked foods is lower, as the cooking process kills the bacteria. Nevertheless, prepared products can sometimes become contaminated after the cooking stage, primarily as a result of unsanitary manufacturing and storage conditions. When a case of salmonella infection is reported, an enquiry is quickly launched to establish the contamination’s origin and recall the contaminated products.
The symptoms of salmonellosis depend on the type of salmonella responsible for the infection. In industrialised countries, infection is often due to a type of Salmonella called ubiquitous or non-typhoid. This bacteria causes gastroenteritis, ie, inflammation of the digestive system, producing abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Generally speaking, the first signs of salmonellosis appear between one and three days after contamination. In healthy adults, symptoms usually subside after 3-5 days. In more vulnerable people, such as young babies, the elderly and immune-suppressed individuals, the risk of complications from salmonella infection is greater and immediate medical intervention is usually recommended.
Salmonellosis is currently considered the second most significant cause of food-borne disease. It therefore makes sense to know how to protect yourself from infection. In this regard, health professionals generally recommend:
In addition, scientific research has identified powerful anti-bacterial agents able to kill salmonella. Among these are the active principles in neem, an Indian tree recognised for its many therapeutic virtues. Researchers believe it to have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic, anti-ulcer and anti-tumour effects. Lactoferrin also provides excellent support for the prevention of salmonellosis. This glycoprotein helps protect against bacterial infection and boost the body’s own defences. Similarly, probiotic blends such as Probio Forte, help support the immune system and reduce the risk of salmonellosis-related gastroenteritis.
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