Campylobacter Infection

Campylobacter Infection: All You Need to Know

Campylobacter infection, also known as Campylobacteriosis, is one of the most common causes of diarrheal illness in the world, with an estimated 2.4 million cases of Campylobacter-related diseases occurring in the United States annually. Campylobacter bacteria are most often transmitted through the consumption of raw or undercooked poultry, unpasteurized dairy products, or contaminated water.

Campylobacter infection can cause mild to severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Symptoms usually begin two to five days after exposure, and may include:

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloody stools
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Vomiting

Most people with Campylobacter infection recover within a week or two without any treatment, although symptoms can last as long as four weeks. The majority of cases do not require any medical treatment, but if your symptoms are severe or do not improve, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection.

The best way to prevent Campylobacter infection is to thoroughly cook all poultry, eggs, and other foods that may be contaminated with Campylobacter. It’s also important to practice good food safety and hygiene habits, such as washing your hands before and after handling uncooked or contaminated food, thoroughly washing fruits and vegetables before eating them, and avoiding unpasteurized dairy products.