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Acute enterocolitis (salmonellosis) non enteric fever

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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The acute diarrhoea in salmonellosis often involves both the small and large intestines and is thus termed an enterocolitis. The illness may be mild or on occasion lead to potentially fatal, rapid dehydration.

The incubation period is 12-48 hours (maximum 6-72 hours), after which the patient first develops nausea and vomiting, often with malaise, headache and fever. Abdominal cramping pains and watery diarrhoea then develop and there may be heavy fluid losses. As the illness evolves from a primarily enteric to colitic illness, the diarrhoea may then increasingly contain less fluid, and more blood and mucus. The abdomen may be acutely tender throughout.

Diarrhoea usually recovers over 3 days, though it may persist for 3 weeks. There may also be symptoms of postinfective bowel irritability.

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