What doctors can learn from the recent salmonella outbreak

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The Public Health Agency reported on Monday that Canadian health authorities are in the process of an investigation after 34 people became sick with salmonella infections. As of now, the outbreak is believed to have come from having contact with live baby poultry. In total, there are 17 cases in which people became sick between April 5 and May 12—all in the province of Alberta.

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Specifically, 13 cases were found in British Columbia, with another four in Saskatchewan. All of the individuals who experienced the sickness had contact with live baby poultry, with many reporting that they had visited the same Alberta hatchery.

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Salmonellosis, symptoms of the salmonella infection, can include fever, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, fatigue and more. Though some can and do become very ill, salmonella can often clear up without treatment in those who are healthy. But what can doctors do to prepare for those patients who do become quite ill, as well as possible future outbreaks?

Treatment of salmonella will be determined by each individual case. As stated, those who are already healthy or fit will most likely not even need to see a physician. However, if the symptoms don’t go away and continue to get worse, then professional help should be sought out.

After assessing the symptoms, doctors will most likely advice getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluids. Blood and/or stool samples may be necessary; antibiotics may be prescribed. In rare and severe cases, it may be ordered that the patient be admitted to the hospital to take fluid intravenously.

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Therefore, when treating a patient that has salmonellosis, doctors should be prepared for the tasks mentioned above—most are. However, if doctors want to warn patients about the dangers of salmonella and how to avoid it, then they should advise them of the following:

Always thoroughly cook animal meat. It’s important to never eat or drink foods that may contain unpasteurized milk or raw eggs—this is a very common way in which people get infected. As well, vegetables may be contaminated; make sure you always thoroughly wash your vegetables. Make sure to wash your hands after they come into contact with raw meat, poultry or eggs.

It’s not just food that individuals need to be mindful of—salmonella can be found on healthy reptiles and birds and in cat and dog feces. Therefore, when handling these items, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water.

Doctors can learn from this recent salmonella outbreak and warn patients of how to avoid contact with the virus in the future. After all, the disease can be quite serious—so take notice!

To see what is going on globally in the health care industry, visit our sister brand Healthcare Global.

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