Salmonella bacteria are commonly found in the intestines of birds, reptiles, and mammals. The bacteria can spread to humans from handling waste from infected animals or consuming undercooked meat, juice from raw meats, or other contaminated foods.
The illness caused by salmonella—salmonellosis—produces fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps in most people. In those with general poor health or weakened immune systems, salmonellosis can be a very serious, even life-threatening, illness.
Last Revised: December 10, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
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