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Acute Communicable Disease Control
Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is caused by a Gram-negative bacillus, Salmonella enterica, of which there are more than 2,500 serotypes. This disease is transmitted by the fecal-oral route, from animal or human, with or without intermediary contamination of foodstuffs. The most common symptoms include diarrhea, fever, headache, abdominal pain, nausea and sometimes vomiting. Occasionally, the clinical course is that of enteric fever or septicemia. Asymptomatic infections may occur. The incubation period is usually 1236 hours for gastroenteritis, longer and variable for other manifestations. Communicability lasts as long as organisms are excreted, usually from 25 weeks, but may last for months to years. Healthy people are susceptible, but persons especially at risk are those who are on antacid therapy, have recently taken or are taking broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy or immunosuppressive therapy, or those who have had gastrointestinal surgery, neoplastic disease, or other debilitating conditions. Severity of the disease is related to the serotype, the number of organisms ingested, and host factors. Immunocompromised persons, such as those with cancer or HIV infection, are at risk for recurrent Salmonella septicemia. Occasionally the organism may localize anywhere in the body, causing abscesses, osteomyelitis, arthritis, meningitis, endocarditis, pericarditis, pneumonia, or pyelonephritis.

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