Salmonellosis is a disease that affects children because of the salmonella bacteria. It is a foodborne illness and usually occurs due to consumption of contaminated food (meat, poultry, eggs and milk) or water. It affects your child’s intestines and causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It gets cleared up from the intestines in seven to ten days and by then the symptoms disappear as well. 

Prevention of salmonella is important. You can prevent it by not serving raw milk or eggs, and by not keeping reptiles or birds as pets if you have a very small child in your house. 

Inculcating the habit of hand washing is very important in children. This can prevent many bacterial infections from happening. Not everyone who digests salmonella will get sick; only infants, toddlers and children are mostly affected by it severely. 

There are many different types of salmonella virus. The one most commonly affecting children are the ones contracted from birds, cows, reptiles and pigs (in the USA).

If fruits are not washed properly, they may cause salmonella. Other causes of salmonella can be when food comes in contact with faeces of animals (for e.g. eggs or beef not being cooked properly).​

  • Your child will have a runny stomach

  • Your child will have abdominal pain

  • Your child will have abdominal cramps

  • Your child will feel lethargic and fatigued

  • Your child may also have fever 

  • Your child will feel nauseous 

  • Your child will vomit frequently

  • Your child will have lessened appetite

  • Your child may have blood in stool

  • Your child may get the chills while in fever

These symptoms will show from seven to ten days. However, it will take at least two months for your bowel to return back to normal. 

A different type of salmonella bacteria may also cause typhoid. ​​

If you witness any of the above symptoms, visit the doctors at the Children’s Hospital Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. If symptoms get worse after two to three days or your child seems dehydrated, it might be the time to visit your doctor immediately.
Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Your doctor will:

  • Ask for a stool culture test of your child to determine the presence of salmonella bacteria

  • Ask for a blood culture test if he or she suspects that salmonella has entered the blood stream.

However, by the time your results might come in, your child must have already recovered from these symptoms. The bowel movement might still be irregular and the doctor will treat you for that. ​​

Disclaimer: Kindly consult your physician before getting the above-mentioned tests.

​Medications are not prescribed when your child has salmonella, as it does not decrease the duration of the disease. However, if your child is younger than three years, only then your doctor will prescribe medications to obstruct the disease from spreading to other parts of the body. In older children, if salmonella has spread to bones, brain and blood, medications will then be prescribed.

You should be giving a lot of fluids to your child when he has been affected by these bacteria. If he does not want to intake water, then you can give him ice chips or cubes to suck on. Popsicles are one more way of keeping your children hydrated in an interesting and fun way. If you feel that he or she is extremely dehydrated, your doctor may prescribe intravenous injection of fluids in the body.

Your doctor may also prescribe you over-the-counter medicines to fight fever and body cramps. The doctor will not prescribe medications for diarrhoea as they will only lengthen the diarrhoea. Your child’s intestines should be allowed to clear out on their own.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​

The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.