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Facts About...


What is it?

Salmonellosis is a gastrointestinal illness caused by a group of bacteria called Salmonella. It is a common cause of food borne illness. Almost half of children under 5 years of age that get Salmonella will have it in their stool for up to 12 weeks.

Salmonellosis is a reportable disease and must be reported to the Health Department.

How is it spread?

Salmonella bacteria are found in poultry, livestock, reptiles and household pets. There are many ways you can get sick, often by eating foods such as poultry, beef, eggs and milk products. Drinking water, or eating foods such as raw fruit and vegetables, peanut butter, and dry snack foods that have the bacteria can also cause it. Fruits and vegetables can pick up the bacteria from surfaces they touch or from where they grow. You can pass it on to other people especially to the very young and older people.

What do I look for?

You may start to feel sick within 6 hours, but usually about 12-36 hour after eating foods that have the bacteria in it. Sudden diarrhea, stomach pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and dehydration are common symptoms.

How is it treated?

There is no specific treatment for salmonellosis. If you are vomiting and have diarrhea, you should drink a lot of fluids. Fluids with water, sugar and salts (such as sport drinks) can help prevent dehydration. Health care providers may prescribe antibiotics to infants, older people and people with weak immune systems.

How can I protect myself?

More information can be obtained from

Durham Region Health Department, 905-723-3818 or 1-888-777-9613

October 4, 2017