Definition

What is campylobacteriosis?

Campylobacteriosis is an infection occurs in the small intestine caused by bacteria called Campylobacter. It is a type of food poisoning.

How common is campylobacteriosis?

Infants and children have a greater chance than adults for campylobacteriosis, but it can strike anyone at any age. Males are also more likely than females to become infected. It’s more common in summer than winter. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of campylobacteriosis?

The infection usually lasts about a week. If you’ve been infected, symptoms start within a couple of days of consuming the bacteria.

The most common symptom is diarrhea. The stool may have blood in it. You may also be sick to your stomach and vomit.

Other signs of infection include:

Some people never get any symptoms.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you have any of the following:

If you have a weakened immune system, see your doctor soon after diarrhea and other symptoms appear. When you have a weakened immune system, the bacteria can cause a very serious infection of your bloodstream. Your immune system can be weakened by an infection, such as HIV, or by medications to treat cancer, for example.

If you’re generally in good health and you get a bout of diarrhea, you may wait a couple of days. Treat it as you would any illness that causes diarrhea.

If you feel very sick, which can happen in serious cases, then see your doctor sooner. Some of the symptoms to watch for include:

  • Diarrhea for more than 2 days
  • Signs of dehydration (dark pee, dry mouth and skin, dizziness)
  • Severe pain in your gut or rectum
  • Fever of 38,8 degrees Celcius or more

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes campylobacteriosis?

Campylobacteriosis is caused by bacteria called Campylobacter.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for campylobacteriosis?

Campylobacter bacteria can get into your system if you eat undercooked poultry or you eat food that has touched raw or undercooked poultry.

The bacteria usually live in the digestive systems of animals, including poultry and cattle. Unpasteurized milk can also have campylobacter bacteria.

Campylobacteriosis usually develops in isolated cases. Sometimes, though, there can be an outbreak when several people have the same infection.

In developing countries, the bacteria can be found in water and sewage systems.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is campylobacteriosis diagnosed?

To make an official diagnosis, your doctor may ask for a stool sample, which will be sent to a lab.

Someone at your doctor’s office will give you a special container in which to collect the sample. It can take several days to get the results.

In rare cases, a doctor may order a blood test, but these results take even longer — up to 2 weeks.

How is campylobacteriosis treated?

Most people get over the infection without medicine or special treatments. You should drink lots of fluids while you have diarrhea.

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, don’t take anything to prevent vomiting and diarrhea. That’s your body’s way of getting rid of the infection.

If your immune system is weak, your doctor might prescribe medicine to fight the infection.

Doctors will often first try levofloxacin (Levaquin). If you can’t take it for some other reasons, they may prescribe one of these common antibiotics that are used to treat several types of infections:

  • Azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax)
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Cetraxal, Ciloxan)

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage campylobacteriosis?

The most effective way to avoid campylobacteriosis is to cook poultry to at least 74 degrees Celcius. The meat should be white, not pink. You should never eat chicken that looks undercooked.

Heating foods and pasteurizing dairy products are the only ways of knocking out the bacteria in foods that have been contaminated.

Here are some other tips:

  • Wash your hands before cooking and after touching raw poultry or meat.
  • Keep uncooked meat and poultry away from other foods, such as vegetables, by using separate cutting boards, utensils, and cooking surfaces.
  • Wash your hands after touching a pet or pet feces.
  • Make sure your child or anyone with diarrhea washes his or her hands well.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: October 19, 2017 | Last Modified: October 19, 2017

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