Real Life Impacts of Salmonella Infection
What happens to people who have severe Salmonella infections or complications of Salmonella infection?
Because the illnesses caused by the ingestion of Salmonella bacteria range from mild to severe, the real life impacts of Salmonella infection vary from person to person.
While anyone can become ill with Salmonella infection, very young children, the elderly, and persons with compromised immune systems are most likely to develop severe illness.
- Approximately 5% of patients infected with non-typhoidal Salmonella develop bacteremia—a condition where Salmonella bacteria enter the blood stream.
- An unknown percentage of patients with Salmonella infections develop digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome.
- Between 2 and15% of patients with Salmonella infections develop reactive arthritis, which can last for months or years, and can lead to chronic arthritis.
Although most patients with Salmonella infections recover within a few months, some continue to experience complications for years.
A few families whose lives have been permanently altered by this devastating pathogen volunteered to share their stories.
- Clifford Tousignant, a Korean War veteran and recipient of 3 Purple Hearts, contracted a Salmonella infection after eating contaminated peanut butter made with peanuts sold by Peanut Corporation of America in December of 2008. Although he received skilled medical care throughout his illness, Clifford died as a result of his Salmonella infection in January of 2009.
- Barb Pruitt, an active wife and mother who was advancing in her career, fell ill with a Salmonella infection after eating contaminated lettuce in 2009. As a result of her Salmonella infection, Barb developed Irritable Bowel Syndrome and reactive arthritis. Her life will never be the same.
- Mora Lou Marshall, an active 86-year-old widow, was one of thousands who became ill with Salmonella infections after eating contaminated Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter in 2007. Mora Lou’s Salmonella infection and the decline in her health that resulted relegated her to a nursing home—virtually bedridden—until her death.