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, any of a group of infectious diseases caused by intestinal bacteria of the genus Salmonella, including typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, blood poisoning, and food poisoning (gastroenteritis).
Typhoid fever, caused by S.
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any one of several intestinal infections caused by microorganisms of the genus Salmonella. A distinction is made between paratyphoids A and B, which are similar in etiology, epidemiology, and clinical symptoms to typhoid, and paratyphoid C, which usually occurs as a food poisoning.
Paratyphoid C occurs rarely, generally in persons weakened by other infections or by chronic disease. The sources of infection are cattle, swine, and other animals, and man becomes infected by eating insufficiently cooked meat of diseased animals.
In paratyphoids A and B the source of infection is a human being, either infected or a carrier. The carrier state results more often after a case of paratyphoid than after typhoid, but it is usually of shorter duration. The bacteria are excreted with feces and urine. They are stable in the external environment, surviving up to ten days in milk at 18° to 20°C and several months in soil. The factors involved in transmission of the infection are water, food, flies, and infected articles.
The incubation period ranges from three days to two weeks. Paratyphoids differ from typhoid in having a more acute onset, comparatively mild course, and shorter duration of illness. The main symptoms are chills, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever of about 39°C, and, frequently, diarrhea.
Laboratory studies for an accurate diagnosis include, in the first few days of the disease, isolation of the causative agent from blood and later from urine and bile and subsequent serological tests. Prevention and treatment are the same as for typhoid.
REFERENCEObshchaia i chastnaia epidemiologiia: Rukovodstvo dlia vrachei, vol. 1. Edited by I. I. Elkin. Moscow, 1973.
V. L. VASILEVSKII