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Salmonellosis is a reportable disease in Oklahoma. Salmonellosis is a diarrheal illness caused by an infection with the bacteria Salmonella.

Symptoms are characterized by diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, headache, muscle aches, nausea and sometimes vomiting. Blood is sometimes found in the stool. The illness usually lasts four to seven days but can last as long as two weeks. In rare cases, Salmonella bacteria may enter the bloodstream and cause infections in other parts of the body. 

Salmonella bacteria live in a wide range of environments. Many kinds of pets and livestock, including dogs, cats, lizards, snakes, iguanas, tortoises, turtles, chicks, cattle, ducks, chickens, geese, and pigs can be infected with Salmonella. But not all these animals have symptoms like humans, and some may carry the bacteria for long periods of time. Humans can become infected from animals when they come into contact with animal feces or droppings, or objects that have been contaminated with animal feces. In addition, meat, milk, and eggs from infected animals can cause illness in humans when they are not thoroughly cooked, or when cross-contamination of food occurs.

Once infected, people can transmit the disease to others if they do not wash their hands properly after using the bathroom. When a person ingests enough Salmonella bacteria to cause illness, symptoms usually begin 12 to 36 hours later. The earliest symptoms may start in 6 hours, and rarely more than 72 hours after infection. A person can infect others once he or she starts having diarrhea.

Salmonellosis is the disease caused by the bacteria Salmonella, and although anyone can become infected, children under 5 years old, infants who are not breast fed, and people taking certain medicines are at increased risk for illness. Infants, adults over 65 years, and people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk for severe infection. 

Salmonellosis is a reportable disease in Oklahoma. 

  • Raw poultry, beef and pork should always be treated as if they are contaminated and handled accordingly.
  • Wrap fresh meats in plastic bags at the market to prevent blood from dripping on other foods.
  • Refrigerate foods promptly; minimize holding at room temperature.
  • Cutting boards and counters used for preparation should be washed immediately after use to prevent cross-contamination with other foods.
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked meats.
  • Ensure that the correct internal cooking temperature is reached, particularly when using a microwave.
  • Avoid eating raw eggs or undercooking foods containing raw eggs.
  • Do not drink raw (unpasteurized) milk.
  • Encourage careful handwashing before and after food preparation.
  • Supervise handwashing in children, particularly after touching animals.
  • People working with animals should have separate work and non-work clothes and should avoid tracking animal manure indoors.
  • Do not keep reptiles or amphibians (e.g., turtles, frogs, snakes, lizards, iguanas, etc.) as pets in homes with immunocompromised persons or young children.

Salmonella may be transmitted from person to person when vomiting and/or diarrhea is present. Someone experiencing vomiting and/or diarrhea should not enter public spaces until 24 hours after those symptoms have stopped. This includes children in daycare and school settings. People who handle food should NEVER work while they are experiencing these symptoms. In addition to being symptom free for 24 hours, people who work in food service or a healthcare setting may need to meet additional requirements through their employer before returning to work. 

Most recover without treatment, but if you feel that you are not recovering, contact your healthcare provider. Antibiotics may be needed to help combat the infection. 


Resources: Backyard Poultry