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Treatment for Salmonella

salmonella treatment

If in doubt, it would be best to get Salmonella diagnosed and treated by a medical professional.

Diagnosing and the accurate treatment of salmonella (or food poisoning) could require testing a clinical specimen. The condition however is often self-limited and a number of studies indicate no difference in results between antibiotic-treated and untreated patients. Some medical practitioners recommend no antibiotics and refer to evidence that antibiotics could prolong a carrier condition. Various doctors differ and treat salmonella poisoning with antibiotics for up to 14 days.

In cases when antibiotic is prescribed it will be for a few days and as a rule, orally. Best antibiotics for the treatment of salmonella poisoning is trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, ampicillin, or amoxicillin. Effective options for antimicrobial-resistant strains however fluoroquinolones are not permitted for patients under the age of 18 years. People with compromised immune systems such as older adults, cancer and AIDS, will more often than not be treated with antibiotics.

Your doctor will usually not give medicines to stop diarrhea to children under 12 years old. Such medicines are unsafe to give to children and can present serious complications. To ease fever and headache it is advisable to take paracetemol or ibuprofen. If dehydration is diagnosed, your medical practitioner will recommend rehydration drinks. These drinks are available in sachets and can be obtained from your pharmacy with or without a prescription. Follow the instructions on how to prepare and how much to take of give to your child.

Rehydration drinks, if prepared correctly, will provide a perfect balance of water, sugar and salts. In circumstance where rehydration drinks are not available, ensure that you or your child drink plenty of water or diluted fruit juice. It is important that mothers who are breast-feeding continue with this before the baby has any solid food.

If your child vomits, wait 5 minutes and then start giving drinks over again but unhurriedly (for example, a spoonful every 2 minutes). You might consider using a syringe to help infants who may not be capable to take sips. A newer group of medicines are anti-secretory medication and are designed to be used with rehydration treatment. Anti-secretory medicines reduce the amount of water that is released into the gut during an episode of diarrhea. This treatment can be prescribed for children older than 3 months of age.

In severe cases of dehydration or if complications develop, admission to hospital is required.

Treatment in hospital usually involves:

  • Rehydration solution through a nasogastric tube. (This tube passes through your nose, down your throat and directly into your stomach.)
  • Fluids might be given directly into a vein (intravenous fluids).

Until symptoms ease, you should:

  • Drink plenty fluids (try to avoid fluids containing high sugar levels)
  • Eat as normal as possible

You might have no appetite but it’s important to try and eat small, light meals. Avoid spice, fatty or heavy food and don’t stop taking in a lot of fluids. Whole meal bread and rice are excellent when trying to eat something.

Salmonella poisoning can be successfully treated at home but it is very important to seek medical advice if dehydration is suspected.

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