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Epidemiology of Salmonella: Causes of Outbreaks

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Biology
Wordcount: 1172 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Etiologic Agent

According to the CDC “Salmonella is a bacterium that makes people sick” (Prevention, 2019). “The disease was introduced by an American scientist named Dr. Salmonella and he was known to cause the illness over 125 years ago” (Prevention, 2019). The illness that effected people come from a Salmonella infection also known as salmonellosis” (Prevention, 2019). Salmonella can get into the bloodstream from the intestines and can affect the whole body. Salmonella is often found in food and meat that can look and smell fresh and not spoiled.

Salmonella bacteria can be ingested and is passed through a person’s stomach into the small and large intestines. The bacteria are then colonized and invade the intestinal mucosa, proliferating the intestines. The bloodstream is effect because of the bacteria now being in the gastrointestinal tract. A host factor determines how the bacteria was disseminated into the bloodstream. 

Once the bacteria is in the bloodstream it can cause infections in any organ, for example, the gallbladder, bone, or meninges. According to the CDC, the “incubation period for salmonellosis is approximately 12-72 hours, but it can be longer, diarrhea (sometimes blood-tinged), abdominal cramps, fever, and occasionally nausea and vomiting” (Prevention, 2019).

 Host Factors

  A host factor is a human that can get a disease. The ineffaceable factor is called risks factors, this can influence the person exposed. The transmission of the bacteria can be influenced by improper hand washing hygiene, food, and personal choices. People that are low immune systems are at higher risk of being affected.

                  Figure1. Host factors that increase Susceptibility to Salmonella

High gastric pH (low acidity)*

Diabetes mellitus

Gastric and gestational surgery**

Immunosuppressive drugs

Antibiotic administration**

Hemoglobin abnormalities (e.g., sickle cell anemia)

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Leukemia and Lymphoma


                                    *Salmonella in the Caribbean-2013. Infection with Salmonella

  Salmonella can be treated with antibiotics for cases less complicated and is only given if the infection spreads to the intestines to the bloodstream.  The individual that has diarrhea might require rehydration with IV fluids. The transmission can be water, food, direct contact with animals, and rarely from human to human contact. There is an estimated 94% of the food transmit salmonellosis, and people become infected by eating the food. 

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 The environmental factors are based on the area’s climate and land-use changes. Crop growing sites can be contaminated by microorganisms from environmental sources.  The Salmonella rates in the USA are higher in the New England and Mid-Atlantic. “These areas are more vulnerable to increase foodborne illnesses outbreaks” (INTECH 2017). In 2010-2011 the CDC and the “Department of health and Epidemiology Data were adjusted to 100,000 of the population” (INTECH, 2017) that was grouped monthly by Salmonella outbreaks according to year and districts. The areas poverty rate effects many individuals that can’t afford to seek health care, making it hard to know and be able to report an outbreak of disease.

The temperatures are also a factor, due to diseases associated with climate change. Its estimated that 4.6% of all environmental risk and hazards. “Climate change, in the year 2000, contributed to about 2.4% of all diarrhoea outbreaks in the world” (INTECH, 2017). Salmonella proliferate more rapidly at higher temperature.

Figure 2.

          “Correlation between Salmonella outbreaks and increase in temperature” (INTECH, 2017).

                          “Scientists have demonstrated how a single-cell organism. Living freely in the environment, could be a source of Salmonella transmission to animals and humans” (Chronicle 1997).    Salmonella has been able to find it way into our food and causing illness, and body can’t fight it off. Salmonella bacteria can be found in many animal species, reptiles, birds, and humans in the environment. The environment that can be contaminated by animal and people feces. Its known that the most times salmonella entry route is orally. How salmonella survive in the environment is the bacteria loves wet places. The bacteria can survive in adverse conditions. “They survive between the pH’s 4 to 8+, and can grow between 8, 45C” (Chronicle 1997). People can contact Salmonellaby touching thing that are already contaminated for example: a cup, pencil placed in the mouth, and eating, drinking contaminated fluids with fecal matter.

Cows can ingest salmonella in their drinking water or food. Cow can also contract this bacterium within their living environment for example: the floor, a feeding area. Salmonella can survive in soil and water for long periods time. The crops are than planted in the soil and the salmonella can spread as they grow. Food is than contaminated and will be hard to disinfect.

In conclusion Salmonella has a great effect on the environment and can be consumed which causes illnesses. It very important to make public safety and awareness available to the public. Learning how to wash your hands, and how to prepare food safely is important. I covered the factors that can cause sickness and how is most likely to contracted salmonella.


  • Open Science Open Minds. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.intechopen.com/


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