/Campylobacteriosis (campylobacter)

Campylobacteriosis (campylobacter)

What is Campylobacteriosis?

Campylobacteriosis is a bacterial disease of the intestines caused by Campylobacter organisms.

Who can be infected?

All age groups can be infected by Campylobacter.

How are the bacteria transmitted?

  • The bacteria are transmitted to people by eating undercooked poultry, pork or contaminated food as well as drinking untreated water and unpasteurized milk.
  • Contact with an infected pet (especially puppies and kittens) is also a source of infection.
  • A common problem is the use of cutting boards contaminated with poultry.

What are the symptoms of Campylobacter infection?

Major symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Not feeling well
  • Fever

Other symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea

Many infections may be without symptoms.

How soon after infection do symptoms appear?

Symptoms usually start two to five days after infection. The range can be from one to 10 days.

Where are Campylobacter found?

  • Poultry, especially chickens, turkeys and waterfowl usually carry the organism.
  • Most farm animals and meat sources can carry the organism.
  • Pets such as dogs and cats (especially puppies and kittens) can also be sources.
  • In addition, rodents and birds may be sources of human infection.

How long can a person spread Campylobacter?

People can spread the disease for several days to several weeks after they are infected.

Should infected people be excluded from school or work?

Children with diarrhea should not attend a child care facility. Child care workers and food handlers are excluded from work until released by the health district.

What is the treatment for Campylobacter infection?

No treatment is generally recommended. However, people with diarrhea should drink plenty of liquids. Antibiotics may be used to treat people with severe cases.

How can the spread of Campylobacter infection be stopped?

  • Always refrigerate meat and poultry products. Never leave raw meat at room temperature.
  • Always cook meat and poultry completely.
  • Thoroughly cook raw eggs or foods containing raw eggs.
  • Avoid using unpasteurized milk.
  • Carefully wash hands before and after preparing food.
  • Make sure children wash their hands carefully, especially after using the toilet or handling pets.
  • Always wash hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet or changing diapers.

Where can I get more information?

Contact your doctor or the Southern Nevada Health District, Office of Epidemiology at (702) 759-1300.

Contact Information

(702) 759-1000

Updated on: August 17, 2018

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