Salmonellosisis an infection with Salmonella bacteria. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps 8 to 72 hours after infection. In most cases, the illness lasts 4 to 7 days and most people recover without treatment. However, in some persons the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient becomes dangerously dehydrated and must be taken to a hospital.
Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in US found a strong link between this illness and contaminated dry pet food. According to scientists, salmonella infection is caused by contact with animal feces or consumption of food contaminated with feces. Although most people recover from salmonella infection without treatment, but the illness can be fatal to the very young and very old, they said.
During the first outbreak in 2006, researchers found that all the infections were a particular strain of the bacteria known as Schwarzengrund, but initial investigations didn't find any other commonalities among those infected.
Then, in 2007, more cases turned up forcing the researchers began to interview families affected by the outbreak as well as nearby families who weren't ill.
They soon noticed a common thread of pet ownership among households with salmonella cases. Because pet food usually contains meat, and meat can carry salmonella, the researchers turned to the families' dog and cat foods for clues.
It was found that a variety of pet foods were produced by a firm in Pennsylvania. Upon investigation, salmonella contamination was found in the flavouring room of the plant, where dry food was sprayed with flavor enhancers before being packaged.
This infection can be avoided by washing hands everytime you come in contact with your pet and by keeping the dog food, dog and dog eating bowls away from your kitchen. Wash the dog bowl in a separate sink or bathroom rather than the kitchen.