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Current Affairs

Salmonella infection through onion

Date: 27 October 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Salmonella outbreak has been reported in several parts of US caused by a contaminated batch of onions.

 

Background

Salmonellosis is an infection caused by bacteria known as Salmonella. Infections have been reported in onions imported from Mexico.

 

Details

  • Majority of those reported sick have consumed food from the same restaurant. The number of people actually sick could be more than the actual numbers.

  • People have been advised to throw away any white, yellow or red onions. In addition the surfaces contaminated by onions should also be washed properly.

 

Sources of infection

  • Salmonella infection is usually caused by eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs or egg products. This prevents the bacteria from being eliminated.

  • The salmonella bacteria lives in the intestines of people, animals and birds and most infections are caused due to consumption of foods that have been contaminated by faeces.

  • Person-to-person transmission can also occur through the faecal-oral route. Animal to human transmission can also happen when humans come into contact with infected animal.

 

Symptoms

  • Acute onset of fever

  • Abdominal pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

 

Preventing infection

  • Treatment in severe cases involves rehydration and electrolyte replacement. Consumption of antibiotic must be avoided without the doctor’s prescription.

  • Food and food products should be washed and boiled before consumption. Hands should be washed before eating food.

 

Concerns

  • Symptoms of infection are seen to be relatively mild with most patients said to recover without specific treatment.

  • The associated dehydration can become severe and life-threatening in case of children and elderly.