Salmonella infection usually isn't life-threatening. However, in certain people — especially infants and young children, older adults, transplant recipients, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems — the development of complications can be dangerous.

Dehydration

If you can't drink enough to replace the fluid you're losing from persistent diarrhea, you may become dehydrated. Warning signs include:

  • Decreased urine output
  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • Sunken eyes
  • Reduced production of tears

Bacteremia

If salmonella infection enters your bloodstream (bacteremia), it can infect tissues throughout your body, including:

  • The tissues surrounding your brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
  • The lining of your heart or valves (endocarditis)
  • Your bones or bone marrow (osteomyelitis)
  • The lining of blood vessels, especially if you've had a vascular graft

Reactive arthritis

People who have had salmonella are at higher risk of developing reactive arthritis. Also known as Reiter's syndrome, reactive arthritis typically causes:

  • Eye irritation
  • Painful urination
  • Painful joints
Apr. 05, 2014

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