Salmonellosis – Ecuador

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August 22 – 23, 2021 – A case of food poisoning / salmonella infection was reported in approximately 60 people in Ambato and Salcedo, Ecuador. The 60 individuals complained of symptoms related to food poisoning (salmonella) after consuming food at a baptismal celebration. The patients were admitted to hospitals in Ambato, Latacunga, and Salcedo for treatment. No deaths were reported. The cases were 35 adults and 13 children of varying genders.

The symptoms reported by the majority of the cases included stomach pain, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms are typically associated with food poisoning. It is suspected that the food consumed by the individuals were poorly prepared and likely contaminated with salmonella.

All of the patients were discharged after being treated with antibiotics and hydration therapy. Only one individual, a girl whose age is not identified, is being monitored in home health due to dehydration. An epidemiologist recommends that food be investigated via smell and taste before consumption to rule out any susceptibility of contaminated food.

Photo: Salmonella (red) invading human cells.

Infection with salmonella in developed countries generally results in food poisoning. The organisms enter through the digestive tract and must be ingested in large numbers to cause disease in healthy adults. Between 60% to 80% of salmonella infections cases go un-diagnosed.

Risk factors for salmonella infections include a variety of foods. Meats such as chicken and pork have the possibility to be contaminated. A variety of vegetables and sprouts may also have salmonella. Lastly, a variety of processed foods such as chicken nuggets and pot pies may also contain this bacteria.

Salmonella was first visualized in 1880. The name Salmonella was not used until 1900.

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