Is a Salmonella Infection an Emergency?

Coming down with some type of food poisoning is never a walk in the park. One minute you are laughing with your friends and eating some delicious takeout and the next, you are doubled over in pain and experiencing some pretty uncomfortable GI symptoms.

It can be scary to experience food poisoning, but the good news is that the majority of people don’t require medical attention during this time and will recover within a few days.

Our AFC Urgent Care Sevierville team explains more about food poisoning and salmonella bacteria below, so read on to learn more.

Where Can You Catch Salmonella?

Salmonella is the name of the bacteria that causes the infection, and it is often found in animals or in animal feces. If you consume undercooked or raw meat or eggs from an infected animal, you can get sick. This is also true for unwashed fruit or vegetables as the bacteria may be living on the skin of the outer layer of your produce.

You can also contract a salmonella infection from your pets or other animals just by petting them and not washing your hands. This is why it is so important to wash your hands thoroughly after giving your dog a good head pat or after interacting with animals at a petting zoo.

Symptoms That Indicate Salmonella

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Headache

Do I Need to See a Doctor for Salmonella?

Not necessarily. If your symptoms are mild to moderate and you feel yourself improving after a few days, you probably have already seen the worst of it and you will be on the mend soon. Most people make a full recovery in a week without medical intervention. Drink a lot of water in the meantime to avoid dehydration.

If you have a chronic medical condition or are age 65 or older, keep a closer eye on your symptoms. While you will likely experience the same symptoms as everyone else, there is a small chance that your infection could become more severe. Watch for the signs of a serious infection and come see us right away.

Symptoms of a Severe Salmonella Infection

  • Symptoms lasting more than a few days
  • Bloody stools
  • A high-grade fever of 102 degrees or higher that won’t go away
  • Severe dehydration

Stomach issues can be really frustrating. Come see us at AFC Urgent Care Sevierville for a diagnosis.