Description of Salmonella and Reasons for Contamination, Essay Sample

Published: 2022-02-28
Description of Salmonella and Reasons for Contamination, Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Medicine
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 870 words
8 min read

Salmonella is a common bacterial infection that affects the intestines of the body. The Salmonella bacteria live in the animal and human intestinal tract and are shed through the stool. People mostly get infected via contact with contaminated food or ingesting raw or undercooked meat and eggs. The symptoms for Salmonella include vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, headache, fever, and blood in the feces (Tennant et al, 2016). In severe cases, diarrhea associated with Salmonella can dehydrate the body so much that the patient may require prompt medical attention. Other lethal complications may also develop when the Salmonella infection spreads to the beyond the intestines.

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One's risk of getting infected with the Salmonella infection gets higher when traveling to areas with poor sanitation. The most likely reasons for contamination include dirty kitchen surfaces and preparing food with unclean hands especially after using the washroom or handling a baby's diapers. Keeping reptiles and amphibians also increases one's risk of acquiring the Salmonella infection since they carry the bacteria (Bula-Rudas, Rathore & Maraqa, 2015). The reptiles and amphibians then shed the Salmonella bacteria in their droppings, which quickly spreads to their skin and consequently onto any other thing that they come into contact with inclusive of toys, pieces of cloth, furniture, and other household devices. Other risk factors include age, whereby children and other people who have weaker immune system may be easily infected with Salmonella (Tennant et al, 2016).

Salmonella Treatment

If a person becomes infected with Salmonella, the treatment would involve monitoring of his or her hydration status and administration of the intravenous (IV) therapy for correcting the electrolyte imbalance and restoring the intravascular volume. The doctor can also administer antimotility drugs that help in stopping diarrhea and reducing cramping to relieve the patient of his or her discomfort. The doctor would then prescribe antibiotics such as amoxicillin and ampicillin for the patient (Deriu et al, 2016).

Recent Outbreak of Salmonella

The most recent outbreak of Salmonella occurred in 2017 and was linked to Maradol papayas from Mexico that are sold under Caribena, Cavi, and Valery brand names. The majority of the cases were documented in California, New York, New Jersey, Texas and 22 other states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claimed that 67 percent of the affected people were Hispanic (Larned, 2017).

Number of Ill People and Related Deaths

The outbreak sickened 235 people in 26 states in the in the US with 78 of them being hospitalized while 2 people, from New York and California, confirmed dead. Most of the affected people experienced diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain within 72 hours of infection but recuperated without treatment after an average of 4 to 7 days (Larned, 2017).

Source of the Outbreak

The main source of the outbreak was the Maradol papaya, which is a big, oval fruit that weighs about 3 pounds. The outbreak was limited to one specific grower, Carica de Campeche, in Southern Mexico and the brands that they distribute. The Maryland Department of Health initially informed the federal authorities that most of the sick people had bought papayas at one location in Baltimore after which it confirmed on July 19th that samples of Caribena brand's Maradol papayas tested positive for Salmonella (Larned, 2017).

A Case of Foodborne Illness

My classmate once had a case of food poisoning after eating street food from a random vendor without cleaning his hands. He complained of nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea and had to stop eating for a few hours and let his stomach settle. Since the dehydration weakened him, he had to rest, take small sips of water, and eat low-fat and easily digestible food products.

Objectives Selected by Healthy People 2020

The main mission of Healthy People 2020 is to improve good health, promote healthier lifestyles while preventing the spread of infections. Healthy People 2020 aims at reducing infections by key pathogens that are transmitted by food products and reducing the number of outbreaks associated with E.coli 0157, Campylobacter, Listeria, and Salmonella. Moreover, Healthy People 2020 aims at increasing the number of consumers following vital food safety measures and the number of fast-food restaurants that embrace safety techniques that avert disease outbreaks ("Food Safety | Healthy People 2020", 2018).


Salmonella is a prevalent bacterial infection that lives in the human and animal intestinal tract where it is shed through the feces. Infection occurs through contact with contaminated food and ingestion of raw or undercooked meat and eggs. The symptoms of Salmonella include vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, fever, headache and blood in the feces. Treatment involves rehydration through the administration of intravenous (IV) therapy and prescription of antibiotics.


Tennant, S. M., MacLennan, C. A., Simon, R., Martin, L. B., & Khan, M. I. (2016). Nontyphoidal salmonella disease: Current status of vaccine research and development. Vaccine, 34(26), 2907-2910.

Bula-Rudas, F. J., Rathore, M. H., & Maraqa, N. F. (2015). Salmonella infections in childhood. Advances in pediatrics, 62(1), 29-58.

Deriu, E., Boxx, G. M., He, X., Pan, C., Benavidez, S. D., Cen, L.& Cheng, G. (2016). Influenza virus affects intestinal microbiota and secondary Salmonella infection in the gut through type I interferons. PLoS pathogens, 12(5), e1005572.

Larned, V. (2017). 235 sickened by salmonella outbreaks in papayas. CNN. Retrieved 11 February 2018, from

Food Safety | Healthy People 2020. (2018). Retrieved 11 February 2018, from

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