Salmonella enterocolitis is an infection in the lining of the small intestine that is caused by Salmonella bacteria.
Salmonella infection is one of the most common types of food poisoning. It occurs when you swallow food or water that contains salmonella bacteria.
The salmonella germs may get into the food you eat (called contamination) in several ways.
You are more likely to get this type of infection if you have:
Most people with this condition are younger than 20.
The time between getting infected and having symptoms is 8 to 48 hours. Symptoms include:
The health care provider will perform a physical exam. You may have signs of a tender abdomen and tiny pink spots, called rose spots, on your skin.
Tests that may be done include:
The goal is to make you feel better and avoid dehydration. Dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should.
These things may help you feel better if you have diarrhea:
If your child has samonella, give your child fluids for the first 4 to 6 hours. At first, try 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of fluid every 30 to 60 minutes.
Medicines that slow diarrhea are usually not given because they may make the infection last longer. If you have severe symptoms, your health care provider may prescribe antibiotics.
If you take water pills or diuretics, you may need to stop taking them when you have diarrhea. Ask your health care provider.
Your doctor might recommend antibiotics if you:
In otherwise healthy people, symptoms should go away in 2 to 5 days, but they may last for 1 to 2 weeks.
The bacteria can be shed in the feces of some treated patients for months to a year after the infection. Food handlers who carry salmonella in their body can pass the infection to the people who eat the food they have handled.
Call your health care provider if:
If your child has symptoms, call your child's health care provider if your child has:
Learning how to prevent food poisoning can reduce the risk of this infection.
Salmonellosis; Nontyphoidal salmonella
DuPont HL. Approach to the patient with suspected enteric infection. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 291.
Giannella RA. Infectious enteritis and proctocolitis and bacterial food poisoning. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2010:chap 107.
Semrad CE. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 142.
Updated by: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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