What is the treatment for salmonella?

Most people with salmonella recover in four to seven days and do not need treatment. During the illness, the person should drink plenty of fluids to replace the fluid lost by diarrhea.

A person who has severe diarrhea or is sick for longer than a week may need to be hospitalized. In the hospital, he or she will be treated with intravenous (IV) fluids. Antibiotics may be used to treat infants, people over age 65, people with a weak immune system (like cancer patients), and those who have severe diarrhea and a high fever and have the bacteria in their bloodstream.

What are the complications of salmonella?

Most people who get salmonella feel better within a week and recover completely. It may take a few months before their bowel system is back to normal.

In severe cases, Salmonella bacteria can get into the bloodstream and travel to the liver, kidneys, or other organs. When this happens, the person must be treated with antibiotics. If treatment is not started soon enough, the infection can cause death. About 400 people a year die from salmonella in the United States.

Reiter’s syndrome is a rare complication of salmonella. In this condition, the person develops joint pain, irritation of the eyes, and pain on urination. Reiter’s syndrome can last for months or years and can lead to arthritis that is difficult to treat.

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