I'll be chatting about this on KGO810AM radio in the SF Bay area at 4:13pm today ( http://bayradio.com/kgo_archives/61700.mp3 will have the recording sometime after they upload it at 5pm (it's the archive of 4pm-5pm):
Since September 2008, 388 across 42 states have become sick with Salmonella typhimurium and 18% (around 70 folks) have had to go to the hospital. The CDC has yet to track down the cause, and has pulled staff from other work to devote to looking for it. You may remember the peppers from Mexico that caused the last outbreak.
Salmonella usually causes an illness with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and cramping, within 8 to 72 hours of eating the contaminated food. In most cases it goes away by itself, but if you're really sick for more than 2 days with more than 6 stools a day with high fever you may need to see your doctor, especially if the stools are bloody, you're dehydrated, or have abdominal pain.
The fortunate thing for you is that by good habits and wise eating you can avoid the risk of catching this illness. Carefully wash hands and cooking utensils & use alcohol-based hand rubs frequently when preparing raw eggs, poultry or other meats. Cook meats and eggs thoroughly. Do not eat raw milk products (such as raw milk or raw cheeses). Wash raw fruits and vegetables before consuming. Keep raw foods in a separate part of your refrigerator. Cook raw food from animal sources to a safe internal temperature: ground beef 160ºF (71ºC); chicken 170ºF (77ºC); turkey 180ºF (82ºC); pork 160ºF (71ºC). Don't leave cooked foods at room temperature for more than two hours (one hour if the room temperature is above 90ºF/32ºC).
Probiotics can be helpful if taken in the first 2 days of being sick. Antibiotics are usually not needed and can make things worse.
Medications to reduce diarrhea can help if there is no fever (temperature greater than 100.3ºF or 38ºC) and the stools are not bloody. These medications do not cure diarrhea, but decrease your frequency of bowel movements.
Loperamide (Imodium®) is available over the counter; the dose is two tablets (4 mg) initially, then 1 tablet (2 mg) after each unformed stool. No more than 16 mg is recommended per day.
Diphenoxylate (Lomotil®) requires a prescription; its benefit is similar to loperamide, although it can cause constipation since it's so strong.
Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol®, Kaopectate®) is not as effective as loperamide. Bismuth subsalicylate can help patients with fever and bloody diarrhea. However, women who are pregnant should not take bismuth subsalicylate. The dose of bismuth subsalicylate is 30 mL or two tablets every 30 minutes for up to eight doses.