Hundreds of cases of Salmonellosis have been diagnosed since June 2010, affecting people in California, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, Texas, and Wisconsin. No deaths have been reported to date.
What is Salmonella? Salmonella is a bacteria that is passed on in several ways. Chickens can have it in their feces or in their ovaries. Hence, it can be passed through the egg shells or be within the egg itself. As a result, there are stringent egg cleaning and testing procedures for hens throughout the country.
What are the signs and symptoms? Fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting can occur within 12 to 72 hours after consuming the undercooked contaminated egg. These symptoms can last up to approximately one week.
How can I prevent this infection? First, check if your eggs are one of the eggs on the recall list. If so, return them in the original carton to the store. Check the dates and codes on the bottom of the egg carton. For detailed info, go to http://www.eggsafety.org/ or call the Egg Safety Media Hotline at (866) 272-5582.
Second and most important, the only safe egg is a fully cooked egg. So, cook your eggs thoroughly. That means fully boiled or cooked eggs and fully cooked scrambled eggs are safe. However, sunny-side up, over easy, runny scrambled eggs are not necessarily safe; eating them puts you at risk of contracting Salmonellosis, otherwise known as Salmonella poisoning.
Lastly, be aware of eating uncooked eggs or foods that contained uncooked eggs, especially when dining out. For example, Hollandaise sauce has uncooked eggs. Avoid it, whenever possible.
If infected, do we need to be treated? Most children and adults do not need antibiotics. In fact, antibiotics prolong the length of time you are contagious. Usually, the only treatment needed is a bland diet with electrolyte drinks to help replenish the electrolytes lost through diarrhea.
Children less than three (3) months old, the elderly, and anyone who’s immunocompromised must be treated. Otherwise, the infection can spread into the blood, resulting in a serious and potentially deadly infection.
As always, if you or your child is sick, contact your doctor, if you have any questions.
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