Of the types of bacteria that cause food borne illnesses, Salmonella is perhaps one of the most widespread, as it causes an estimated 1.2 million illnesses in the U.S. every year. Of those individuals who were infected, 23,000 required hospitalization and 450 lost their lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), contaminated food is the source of more than one million Salmonella-related illnesses. This is both an alarming and dangerous trend, making it especially important for those who have been diagnosed with a food borne illnesses caused by Salmonella contamination to speak with a personal injury attorney who can help them seek compensation for their medical bills and lost wages.
How do I Know if I am Suffering from a Salmonella Infection?
Most of those who are infected with Salmonella develop typical food borne illness-related symptoms, such as abdominal cramps, fever, and diarrhea, all symptoms that usually manifest within 12 to 72 hours after infection. Fortunately, this type of illness usually lasts for less than a week and most are able to recover without treatment, although some may develop pain in their joints referred to as reactive arthritis. However, in severe cases, where the infection has spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and other body sites, hospitalization is crucial, as a failure to immediately begin treatment with antibiotics could result in death. This is especially true for certain groups that are considered more at risk of severe illness, including the elderly, those with impaired immune systems, and infants.
Even if a person is suffering from these symptoms, he or she should still seek the aid of a medical professional to receive an official diagnosis. This requires the testing of a clinical specimen, such as a stool or blood sample. Once Salmonella is identified, doctors will usually conduct additional testing to determine which strain of the bacteria has infected the patient. Obtaining an official diagnosis is critical for those who are attempting to recover damages from the at-fault entity that caused the contamination.
Potential Sources of Infection
Foods of animal origin are the most likely to be contaminated with Salmonella, so people are strongly encouraged to avoid eating raw eggs. This includes homemade Hollandaise sauce, salad dressings, ice cream, mayonnaise, cookie dough, and frosting, all of which contain raw eggs. Poultry and beef should also be well-cooked, and consumers should avoid dairy products that contain unpasteurized milk. Thoroughly washing all produce is also a good way to avoid cross-contamination. Certain live animals should also be avoided by children and others susceptible to disease, including chickens, ducks, and reptiles, as these animals are considered to be carriers of the disease.
Call Today to Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you are suffering from an infection caused by Salmonella and have evidence that the source of contamination was a food vendor, restaurant, or manufacturer, please contact the legal team at Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. by calling 737-201-0543 to learn more about your legal options.