Salmonella infection

Diagnosis

Diagnosing salmonella infection typically involves observing signs and symptoms. Detection can be done by analyzing a stool sample. However, often individuals have already recovered from their symptoms by the time test results are available. If your doctor suspects salmonella infection in your bloodstream, they may require a blood sample to test for the presence of the bacteria.

Treatment

Most healthy individuals typically recover within a few days to a week without needing specific medical intervention. Ensuring sufficient fluid intake to prevent dehydration can aid in the recovery process.

Replenishing dehydration

Because of the risk of dehydration caused by salmonella infection, treatment focuses on replenishing lost fluids and electrolytes, crucial minerals that regulate the body’s water balance. In instances of severe dehydration, emergency room care or hospitalization might be required for administering fluids directly into a vein via intravenous methods.

Medications

Alongside recommending ample fluid intake, your doctor may suggest:

  • Antibiotics: If your doctor suspects bloodstream infection by salmonella bacteria, severe infection, or a weakened immune system, they may prescribe antibiotics to eradicate the bacteria. However, antibiotics are typically not beneficial for most cases of salmonella infection. In fact, they might prolong the carrier state and increase the risk of reinfection or relapse.
  • Anti-diarrheal medications: Drugs like loperamide can alleviate diarrhea-related cramping. However, they may also prolong the duration of diarrhea associated with salmonella infection.

Self care

Even if medical attention isn’t necessary for your salmonella infection, it’s important to prevent dehydration, which is common with diarrhea and vomiting.

  • For infants and children suffering from dehydration due to diarrhea, vomiting, or fever, using over-the-counter oral rehydration solutions is recommended. These solutions are formulated with water and salts in specific ratios to replenish fluids and electrolytes.
  • Adults experiencing mild to moderate dehydration due to these symptoms can often improve by increasing their fluid intake. Drinking full-strength fruit juice and soft drinks can exacerbate diarrhea.