DCH Corner – Salmonella. What You Need to Know.

Recently, the Iowa Department of Public Health issued a warning regarding an increased number of cases of salmonella poisoning due to tainted food. With this top of mind, we wanted to be sure you know what to look for if you suspect salmonella in your household.

Salmonella infection is a common bacterial disease that can cause illness and rarely, it can be severe. Usually, people who get salmonella infection develop symptoms within 12 to 36 hours after ingesting the bacteria, but symptoms can appear as early as six hours and as late as three days after ingestion.

Symptoms of salmonella infection generally last four to seven days and include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pains
  • Bloody stools

Most people get better without treatment, but in some cases, the diarrhea associated with a salmonella infection can cause dehydration, which can sometimes result in hospitalization. It is important whenever you have diarrhea to make sure you drink plenty of fluids. If you are ill, you should contact your health care provider.

If you suspect salmonella in a food product you purchased, it is advised that you report your illness to your local Public Health Department. As in the case of this recent outbreak, when cases are reported, the Iowa Department of Public Health can sometimes narrow down the source of the bacteria and work with the food provider to remove the product from shelves to avoid infecting more people.

 To learn more about Decatur County Hospital and our available services, please visit www.decaturcountyhospital.org, or follow us on Facebook @DecaturCountyHospitalIowa. We want to hear from you! Email us at serb@d-c-h.org if you have a topic or question you would like us to cover in one of our DCH Corner articles.