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What is Campylobacteriosis?

Campylobacteriosis is an infectious disease caused by Campylobacter bacteria. Campylobacter jejuni, C. fetus, and C. coli are the types that usually cause campylobacteriosis in people. C. jejuni causes most cases of the illness.

Campylobacteriosis usually lasts for 2 to 5 days. In some cases campylobacteriosis mays last as long as 10 days.

How is Campylobacteriosis Transmitted?

Campylobacteriosis is usually transmitted via handling raw poultry, eating undercooked poultry, drinking nonchlorinated water or raw milk, or handling infected animal or human feces. Most frequently, poultry and cattle waste are the sources of the bacteria, but feces from puppies, kittens, and birds also may be contaminated.

Symptoms of Campylobacteriosis

Sometimes symptoms are not present. When symptoms are present, the most common symptoms are:

  • Diarrhea (often bloody)
  • Abdominal cramping and pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Convulsions
  • Meningitis

How is Campylobacteriosis Diagnosed?

A health care provider can use laboratory tests to identify Campylobacter in your stool if you are infected.

Can Campylobacteriosis be Treated?

Most people infected with Campylobacter will get better with no special treatment. When treatment is needed, antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin or azithromycin are prescribed. Erythromycin helps treat diarrhea caused by Campylobacter.

Can Campylobacteriosis be Prevented?

Yes. Some simple ways to help prevent campylobacteriosis are:

  • Wash hands before preparing food.
  • Wash hands immediately after handling raw poultry or other meat.
  • Wash thoroughly with soap and hot water all food preparation surfaces and utensils that have come in contact with raw meat.
  • Cook poultry products to an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit for breast meat and 180 degrees Fahrenheit for thigh meat.
  • Drink pasteurized milk and chlorinated or boiled water.
  • Wash hands after handling pet feces or visiting zoos and petting zoos.

Complications of Campylobacteriosis

Some people infected with Campylobacter develop arthritis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, or breathing problems.

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