What is campylobacteriosis?

Campylobacteriosis is a disease caused by the bacteria Campylobacter. Symptoms include (bloody) diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, and/or fever within 2 to 5 days after exposure. In rare cases, the disease can spread to the bloodstream and cause an infection. Some infected people show no symptoms.

How common is campylobacteriosis?

FoodNet reports about 14 people per 100,000 in the population are diagnosed each year. Some cases go unreported. About 1.3 million people a year will get the disease. Although it does not usually cause death, about 76 people a year will die from campylobacteriosis infections.

How is campylobacteriosis diagnosed?

Campylobacteriosis is diagnosed through a stool sample. The sample will show the bacteria.

How is campylobacteriosis treated?

Most patients will recover without any specific treatment. Patients are encouraged to drink extra fluids and rest until the diarrhea subsides. Antimicrobial therapy may be required for high-risk patients. Azithromycin and fluoroquinolones (e.g., ciprofloxacin) can treat the disease, but the treatments do not always work.

How does one get infected by Campylobacter?

Most cases are single and sporadic, but some cases may come in twos or threes. Many cases are associated with eating raw or undercooked poultry or meat or from cross-contamination of foods. Other causes may be contaminated water and food, unpasteurized dairy products, and contact with stool of infected animals (mainly dogs and cats). The disease can spread among humans but only if the infected person is producing a large volume of diarrhea.

How can Campybolacter be prevented?

  • Cook all poultry thoroughly. Juices should run clear and the internal temperature should reach at least 165* F.
  • Report any undercooked poultry if you are eating at a restaurant or someone else’s house.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after preparing food, especially raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
  • Separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/seafood and produce/dairy/grains.
  • Thoroughly wash any utensils used to prepare raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Do not consume any unpasteurized dairy products or unfiltered water.
  • Make sure infected persons wash their hands thoroughly after using the restroom.
  • Wash hands after contact with pet stool.

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