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Germ type: Bacteria
Salmonella cause the salmonellosis infection. There are 2,000 types of salmonella bacteria; most live in the intestinal tracks of animals or birds. Salmonella has been a known source of foodborne illness for over 100 years. Salmonella Enteritidis is commonly known for its ability to infect unhatched eggs (passed on by the mother hen); Salmonella Typhimurium is a virulent strain that is resistant to many antibiotics.
Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Although most people recover without treatment, symptoms can be very severe for those in at-risk groups, and can require hospitalization. In these at-risk patients — including elderly, young babies and those with impaired/suppressed immune systems — the infection can spread to the bloodstream and other parts of the body, and must be treated with antibiotiocs.