Home World What is salmonellosis, the bacterial disease affecting Europe, US? 10 points

What is salmonellosis, the bacterial disease affecting Europe, US? 10 points

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The World Health Organisation said there have been more than 150 suspected cases of Salmonellosis, a bacterial intestinal disease which has affected people across Europe and the United States. This after the UK regulators had flagged a cluster of Salmonella Typhimurium cases a month ago.

The World Health Organisation said ‘children and elderly individuals are at a greater risk for severe complications related to associated dehydration’. At least 113 countries across the Europe and the world have received the Kinder brand of products

Israeli foodmaker Strauss Group on Wednesday expanded its voluntary recall of chocolate products after finding traces of salmonella at its plant in northern Israel, Reuters reported.  Israeli media have reported a number of children and adults have sought medical attention in recent days for suspected salmonella.

Here’s a complete 10-point lowdown on the new bacterial disease Salmonellosis.

1. It is a disease caused by Salmonella, a non-typhoidal bacteria. According to WHO, approximately 2,500 serotypes have been identified, out of which a majority of the human infections are triggered by Typhimurium and Enteritidis serotypes.

2. This bacteria are widely distributed in animals like poultry, pigs and cattle. According to WHO, the bacterial can be distributed among pets including cats, dogs, birds and reptiles like turtles.

3. Salmonellosis in humans is generally contracted through the consumption of contaminated food of animal origin (mainly eggs, meat, poultry, and milk). Person-to-person transmission can also occur through the faecal-oral route.

4. The symptoms include onset of fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. The symptoms occurs 6-72 hours after the ingestion of contaminated food or water. 

5. According to WHO, the symptoms are relatively mild and patients will make a recovery without specific treatment in most cases. But in some cases, particularly in children and elderly patients, the associated dehydration can become severe and life-threatening.

6. Till April 25, there have been a total of 151 genetically-related cases suspected to be linked to the consumption of the implicated chocolate products. The United Kingdom has been the worst-hit with 65 infections, followed by Belgium (26), France (25), Germany (10), Ireland (15) among others. The US has reported one infection. 

7. According to the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the outbreak strain is resistant to six types of antibiotics: penicillins, aminoglycosides (streptomycin, spectinomycin, kanamycin, and gentamycin), phenicols, sulfonamides, trimethoprim, tetracyclines.

8. To avoid salmonella, everyone should wash their hands before cooking, keep raw foods separated from others, and regularly clean areas where food is handled. Thoroughly cooking meat is also highly recommended.

9. Whether or not a person contracts salmonellosis, the infection caused by salmonella, depends on the type of bacteria and the quantity consumed. While an estimated 94 percent of salmonellosis is transmitted by food, contact with chicks and pet turtles can be a source of infection, the US Centre for Disease Control said. 

10. According to the WHO, “at least 113 countries” across Europe and globally have received Kinder products during the period of risk.

(With inputs from Reuters, WHO)

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