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Salmonellosis is an infection that results from exposure to the bacteria Salmonella. The symptoms of a salmonella infection often dissipate after a week, but some victims require hospitalization. If a salmonella infection spreads into the blood stream, it can even prove fatal. It is important for anyone exhibiting signs of a salmonella infection to seek medical attention and treatment right away.
What is Salmonella?
Salmonella is a potentially dangerous bacterium that can cause a number of illnesses such as paratyphoid fever, typhoid fever and foodborne illness. The illness that results from salmonella exposure typically lasts between four to seven days. Most patients, however, are able to recover with rest and time. For others, a salmonella infection can be potentially life threatening.
The Serious Consequences of Salmonella
Salmonella typically results in abdominal cramps, fever and diarrhea within 12 to 72 hours after infection. In some cases, the diarrhea can be so severe that the patient becomes extremely dehydrated. When this occurs, the victim must seek medical attention. If the infection spreads from the intestines to the blood stream, it can affect the entire body. It becomes a life-threatening condition when it is not properly treated with antibiotics. There are some strains of salmonella, which cannot be treated with antibiotics. Salmonella is particularly dangerous for the elderly, for infants and for those with compromised immune systems.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 42,000 cases of salmonellosis that are reported each year in the United States. The actual number of salmonella cases is much higher because many milder cases are never diagnosed or reported. Some studies show that the accurate number of salmonella cases may be 29 or more times higher than the number of reported cases.
Young children are the most vulnerable to salmonella and the most likely to get infected. In fact, the rate of diagnosed infections is highest among children under 5 years of age. About 400 people die each year as a result of acute salmonellosis.
Legal Rights of Salmonella Victims
Storing and preparing food properly can prevent salmonella. Anyone who has contracted salmonella as the result of the negligence of a food producer, manufacturer or server, can seek compensation from the at-fault parties for their injuries, damages and losses. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Diagnostic tests
- Cost of Medication
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
It is important that injured victims seek the counsel of an experienced salmonella poisoning lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases.