Salmonella Infection (salmonellosis) and Animals
What is salmonellosis?
Salmonellosis (sal-mohn-el-OH-sis) is a bacterial disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella. Many different kinds of Salmonella can make people sick. Most people have diarrhea, fever, and stomach pain that start 1 to 3 days after they get infected. These symptoms usually go away after 1 week. Sometimes, people have to see a doctor or go to the hospital because the diarrhea is severe or the infection has affected other organs.
Can animals transmit salmonellosis to me?
Yes, many kinds of animals can pass salmonellosis to people. Usually, people get salmonellosis by eating contaminated food, such as chicken or eggs. However, animals can carry Salmonella and pass it in their feces (stool). Therefore, people can also get salmonellosis if they do not wash their hands after touching the feces of animals. Reptiles (lizards, snakes, and turtles), baby chicks, and ducklings are especially likely to pass salmonellosis to people. Dogs, cats, birds (including pet birds), horses, and farm animals can also pass Salmonella in their feces.
Some people are more likely than others to get salmonellosis. A person's age and health status may affect his or her immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick. People who are more likely to get salmonellosis include infants, children younger than 5 years old, organ transplant patients, people with HIV/AIDS, and people receiving treatment for cancer. Special advice is available for people who are at greater risk than others of getting this disease from animals.
How can I protect myself from salmonellosis?