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Salmonella

Definition

Also known as typhoid fever, this is a pathogen that affects animals and is acquired orally by ingesting these animals and/or products of these, which cause an enteric picture.

Bacteria from salmonella usually live in the intestines of animals and humans and are expelled through the feces.

Symptoms

After an incubation period of 7 to 14 days, there is fever, malaise, headache, constipation, muscle and/or abdominal pain and low heart rate.

In the second week, data on liver and spleen growth appear on physical examination and a pinkish evanescent rash on the skin of the thorax and abdomen, in some fleeting cases.

The third week is characterized by decreased mental processes (fatigue, depression, slowness), greenish diarrhea may occur and there is a high risk of intestinal perforation and bleeding.

In the fourth week the patient may enter a subclinical stage presenting a relative improvement and the decrease of the feverish pictures but without total disappearance of the symptomatology.

Prevention

Salmonella infection is contagious, taking the necessary precautions will prevent the spread of bacteria to others.

  • Washing your hands thoroughly can help prevent transference in the mouth or in

Any food being prepared

  • Keep things separate to avoid cross-contamination: store meat

Raw, poultry and seafood away from other foods in your refrigerator,

  • Do not place cooked food on a dish without washing where raw meat was present.
  • It is necessary that the meat of poultry, bovine and probably infected eggs, be cooked with care.

Risk Factors

  • Salmonella infection, including the varieties that cause typhoid fever, is more common in developing countries with poor health conditions.
  • Owning a bird or a reptile. Some domestic animals, especially birds and reptiles, can be infected with salmonella bacteria.
  • Living in a shared home or people who live in overcrowded places (households with many members, school rooms, nursing homes, prisons) may be at greater risk of infection simply because they are exposed to more people.
  • Antacids: Reducing the acidity of your stomach allows more salmonella bacteria to survive.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: This disorder damages the lining of the intestines, which makes it easier for salmonella bacteria to hold.
  • Recent use of antibiotics: This can reduce the number of “good” bacteria in your intestines, which can impair your ability to fight salmonella.

Causes

Salmonella bacteria live in the intestines of people, animals and birds. Most people are infected with salmonella by eating foods that have been contaminated by feces.

Commonly infected foods are:

  • Meat, beef and poultry, as well as raw seafood: Feces can contaminate meats and raw birds during the killing process; Seafood can be contaminated if harvested from contaminated water.
  • Raw eggs: Although egg shell may appear to be a perfect barrier to contamination, some infected hens produce eggs containing salmonella before the shell forms.

Any food containing egg presents a risk of infection with salmonella. This is particularly true if the eggs are not cooked well or the yolk is liquid.

  • Fruits and vegetables: Some fresh produce, particularly imported varieties, can be hydrated in the field or washed during processing with water contaminated with salmonella; Although contamination can also occur in the kitchen, when juices of raw meats and poultry come into contact with raw foods, such as salads.

Complications

The main complications of typhoid fever are bleeding and intestinal perforations.

The main lesions are hyperplasia and necrosis of lymphoid tissue (lymph nodes), hepatitis, focal necrosis of the liver, inflammation of the gallbladder, periosteum (membrane that covers the bones of the body), lungs and other organs.

Medical Treatment

The traditional drug of choice is chloramphenicol up to 4 times a day, although with the appearance of 3rd generation cephalosporins and quinolones, chloramphenicol has come into disuse.

All three pharmacological treatments should be administered for 7 to 10 days or up to 14 days depending on the severity of the picture.

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