One would hardly let an unsuspecting toddler pick up toys, much less food, from a dirty carpet. You can never be too careful when you’ve got young kids due to the possibility of Salmonella infection at home. To further illustrate the dangers involved, take this excerpt from Minnesota Public Radio which tackles a recent Salmonella outbreak that ravaged 17 states:

The CDC says about 42 percent of the people who’ve gotten sick (among those for whom information is available) have been hospitalized. The strains of Salmonella Heidelberg that have made people sick are resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics. And according to the CDC, the resistance may increase the risk of hospitalization or make the illness tougher to treat.

This outbreak was similar to the one that took place in Minnesota last August and left about 80 people hospitalized after eating guinea pig meat infected with Salmonella. Yet even in the absence of tainted food, there’s a good chance that many Minnesotan households unwittingly harbor this deadly bacteria. Dirty carpets, for instance, can breed all sorts of contagions aside from Salmonella such as the dreaded Campylobacter and the Noro Virus.

Salmonella is arguably the most dangerous of the bunch as it causes diarrhea and fever about 12 to 72 hours after it enters the body, with symptoms subsiding in little less than a week. Children and elderly adults require immediate medical attention because of their weaker immune systems, though they may take small consolation in the fact that this bacterium has a relatively shorter life span than other microbes. In any case, Minneapolis carpet cleaning experts point out that Salmonella typically thrives in carpets that receive plenty of dirt and organic matter every day, especially from the soles of shoes, bare feet, or the paws of outdoorsy pets. Even a brand-new carpet, it is said, may be tainted.

Vacuuming the carpet at least twice a week is, thus, highly recommended, although homeowners should go beyond that if they want their carpets to be as clean as possible. Minnesotans should benefit from the expertise of reputable Minneapolis carpet cleaners who employ better cleaning techniques like “steam cleaning”. This technique involves the use of detergents and hot temperatures to melt away any remaining pathogen. A combination of regular self-cleaning and professional cleaning services from companies like ServiceMaster Clean can help protect households from Salmonella infections.

(Article Excerpt and Image from Amid Big Salmonella Outbreak, USDA Says It’s On The Job, Minnesota Public Radio, October 9, 2013)