Salmonella is a stomach disease. It is disseminated via beverages and food that have been handled incorrectly. Most people get mild problems that quickly go away. You may have a high fever and diarrhea.

Most people who get salmonella have become infected on a trip abroad, but salmonella is also found in Europe. You can also have the bacterium without getting sick.

Symptoms of salmonella

The Salmonella bacterium is available in different variants. For the most common form of salmonella, it usually takes one to three days from the time you become infected to get sick. The disease usually starts quickly.

You get one or more of the following symptoms of salmonella:

  • diarrhea
  • stomach ache
  • fever.

When and where should I seek care?

If you have any of the following symptoms, please contact a health care center or an on-call clinic immediately :

  • You have diarrhea and are very tired and weak.
  • You have bloody diarrhea.
  • You have diarrhea and at the same time high fever and chills.
  • You have severe abdominal pain. 

If it is closed at the health center or on-call reception, seek care at an emergency room.

Then you will be given help to assess your symptoms and can get advice on what you can do for yourself and if you should seek care. You can read more about what applies if you need care in the text Care abroad.

So does salmonella

The bacteria are mainly spread through food that is not properly cooked or fried or fruits and vegetables that have not been properly rinsed. 

It is usually required that you get many salmonella bacteria in order for you to get sick. 

It is very uncommon for infection to be transmitted from person to person. Then it is usually within your own family, or in preschool. Especially older people and younger children may be more susceptible to salmonella.

How can I prevent salmonella?

There are some things you can do to reduce the risk of getting salmonella:

  • Eat well-cooked or cooked food.
  • Avoid foods that have been standing in the heat for a long time.
  • Do not cook for family and friends as long as you are ill.
  • Be extra careful about hand hygiene for the next few months after you have had salmonella.

To reduce the risk of infection spreading:

  • Wash your hands with liquid soap before meals and after a toilet.
  • Stay home from school or work if you have diarrhea. Children with diarrhea should not go to preschool, but they can usually start again within a week.
  • Use a disposable towel or have your own towel.
  • Avoid cooking as long as you have vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Keep the toilet dry and clean. If possible, use your own toilet.
  • Do not swim in the pool as long as you have diarrhea.

There is no vaccine for salmonella.

Treatment for Salmonella

In salmonella, it is important to drink fluids frequently and a little at a time. It is important to stop fluid loss caused by diarrhea. It is especially important for younger children to get fluid if they have vomiting and diarrhea.

As soon as you feel better and can start eating again, you can try eating as usual. You usually get well after one to two weeks. The disease usually does not transmit when diarrhea has passed. For most, the bacteria disappear completely within three months. But the salmonella bacteria can remain in the gut for a long time, sometimes for several months. This is not dangerous, but there is a risk that you will infect others.

Antibiotics are not usually necessary

Most people who get salmonella do not need antibiotics. This is because antibiotics can weaken the natural and important gut flora of bacteria. It is needed for digestion to function properly.

Sometimes you may need to be treated with antibiotics. This applies, for example, if you have a severe immune deficiency disease, a joint prosthesis or vascular prosthesis, herniated hernia, or have very severe diarrhea.

Important to know if you have salmonella

Salmonella is a notifiable disease.

Special rules apply to you if any of the following is true:

  • You work with food preparation or not packaged foods. 
  • For you who care for infants.
  • You work with people who have severely impaired immune systems.


Sometimes, but it is uncommon, salmonella can cause sequelae such as joint problems.

Influence and participate in your care

You can seek care at any medical center or open specialist clinic you want throughout the country. Sometimes a referral to the open specialized care is required.

Children should also be involved in their care. The older the child, the more critical it is.

You should understand the information.

In order for you to be involved in your care and treatment, it is important that you understand the information you receive from the healthcare personnel.

You have the opportunity to get help from an interpreter. You also have the opportunity to get help from an interpreter if you have a hearing loss.

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