832 Salmonella Infection (Salmonellosis)

the patient has had recent contact with an infected person or animal. Determine if the patient has ingested uncooked egg or meat products. If so, ask the patient whether the potentially contaminated food was prepared at home or at another location, such as a restaurant or public gathering. Elicit a history of recent travel to other countries that have endemic typhoid.

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION. The patient appears to be weak and pale because of vomiting and diarrhea. Young children and debilitated patients may show signs of dehydration. Fevers range from 101°F to 105°F. Rose spots may appear on the trunk, and joints may be painful. Palpation of the abdomen may be difficult because of tenderness. Stools are usually greenish-brown, watery, and foul smelling. They contain mucus, pus, or blood.

PSYCHOSOCIAL. The patient with salmonellosis feels ill and may be apprehensive about the diagnosis. The patient feels guilty if he or she has inadvertently exposed others to the disease through food preparation or angry if he or she has been exposed to the illness at a restaurant or other public gathering. Parents of young children are apt to be anxious and afraid for their child's life.

Diagnostic Highlights


Normal Result

Abnormality with Condition


Cultures of feces, urine, vomitus, pus, or blood

Negative for pathogens

Presence of Salmonella

Determines presence of Salmonella in various samples; stool culture is the definitive diagnostic tool for salmonellosis

Other Tests: Complete blood count to determine the response to infection

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