Salmonella is a type of bacteria that, if transmitted to you, can really ruin your week. Salmonellosis, the type of food poisoning caused by the bacteria, develops 12 to 72 hours after the infection and can cause diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and fever that can last up to a week. While rarely fatal, it’s an extremely unpleasant disease that can take months to fully recover from.
Salmonella is usually caused by a handful of foods — specifically, milk, eggs, poultry, and beef. Raw or undercooked eggs, raw milk, contaminated water, and raw and undercooked meats are the usual culprits, but it can also be transmitted by someone who doesn’t wash their hands after using the restroom; anything that they touch will be contaminated. Alfalfa sprouts, nuts, cucumbers, and melons are also occasionally culpable.
If you find yourself suffering from what you think might be salmonella, the best thing to do is try to stay as hydrated as possible, and make sure you get plenty of rest. You can call your doctor if symptoms are unbearably severe, or if you become overly dehydrated, but keep in mind that the infection will eventually work its way through your body, and that the nightmare will be over soon.