June 20, 2024

What Should You Do If Your Child is Diagnosed With Salmonella?

If your child has been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection, you are probably worried and upset. What should you do?

What Should You Do If Your Child Is Diagnosed with a Salmonella Infection?


First, and most importantly, make sure your child receives all necessary medical care and rehabilitation. Salmonella infections are more common in children, and they can also be more devastating at a young age. Most kids infected with Salmonella suffer diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, a fever, and headache. Some complications of salmonellosis in children can include: bacteremia, meningitis, and other neurological complications, osteomyelitis, joint pain or arthritis, urinary tract infections, post-infectious IBS, or other gastrointestinal disorders (even into adulthood), and, rarely, death. Even mild cases of salmonellosis can take children weeks to recover. More severe illnesses may require months of rehabilitation or permanent care.

Next, if you are contacted by a public health department, cooperate with their investigation. Salmonellais what is considered a “reportable disease,” meaning your child’s doctor will report the illness to state public health officials. State epidemiologists and microbiologists work to determine whether your child’s strain of Salmonella (known as a serotype) is genetically similar to any other sick individuals. State scientists use a method called Whole Genome Sequencing, or WGS. Whole genome sequencing breaks down bacteria’s DNA and sequences it for comparison to other samples.

If your child’s Salmonella sample is closely related to others’ samples, you may get a call asking for your child’s food history, to see if there is a common source of the illnesses—an epidemiological link.

If you are contacted by a health department and learn your child’s illness is part of an outbreak (usually considered a “confirmed case”), you may be able to bring a legal claim for your child’s medical care and pain and suffering, both in the past and in the future. In cases with severe, permanent injuries, your child may also have a claim for future wage loss or loss of earning capacity.

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