If You Have Diarrhea, Abdominal Cramps, and a Fever, It Could Be a Salmonella Infection

·2-min read
Shot of a young woman experiencing stomach pain while lying on the sofa at home
Shot of a young woman experiencing stomach pain while lying on the sofa at home

On Sept. 17, the CDC released data on a salmonella outbreak that has affected a total of 25 states in the US so far: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas (which has the most reported outbreaks), Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

As of Sept. 15, 127 people have been reported to have a salmonella infection, although the CDC noted that the actual number of people infected is likely much higher since many people recover without medical care or don't get tested for salmonella. Although salmonella infections are usually tied to food, the cause of this outbreak is currently unknown.

This all sounds a little scary, but the good news is no deaths have been reported in relation to this outbreak, and most people who are infected with salmonella usually recover at home in a few days. So what should you look out for if you think you might have been exposed to salmonella?

Symptoms of a Salmonella Infection in Humans

According to the CDC, the main symptoms of a salmonella infection are diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps. However, elderly people, infants, and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a more severe illness. An official salmonella diagnosis needs to be determined with a lab test.

The CDC also notes that most salmonella infections can be treated at home by drinking plenty of fluids and typically last five to seven days. If you are dehydrated due to diarrhea and/or vomiting, you may need to go to the hospital to replenish lost fluids.

If you have these symptoms and are in an area where an outbreak has been reported, it's best to talk to your doctor to determine the best course of treatment. Hopefully, some extra rest, fluids, and patience will do the trick.

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