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Campylobacteriosis

What is campylobacteriosis?
What are the symptoms of campylobacteriosis?
How is campylobacteriosis spread?
How can I keep from getting campylobacteriosis?
If I’ve been exposed to campylobacteriosis, how long will it take for symptoms to develop?
What treatments are available for campylobacteriosis? How serious is the disease?
How many cases of campylobacteriosis have been reported in Northern Kentucky?
Where can I get more information on campylobacteriosis?

What is campylobacteriosis?
Campylobacteriosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria campylobacter. Campylobacter is one of the leading causes of diarrheal illness in the United States.

What are the symptoms of campylobacteriosis?
Diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, fever and vomiting. The diarrhea may contain blood and mucus. Infected persons may show mild symptoms or may have no symptoms at all.

How is campylobacteriosis spread?
People most often get Campylobacter by eating contaminated food, or drinking contaminated water or unpasteurized milk. Campylobacter bacteria are often found in raw meat or poultry. Spread can also occur through contact with infected birds, farm animals or pets—particularly puppies, kittens or wild animals.

How can I keep from getting campylobacteriosis?Person washing hands

If I’ve been exposed to campylobacteriosis, how long will it take for symptoms to develop?
The initial symptoms of campylobacteriosis can occur between two and five days after exposure.

What treatments are available for campylobacteriosis? How serious is the disease?
Generally, patients infected with campylobacteriosis recover without the need for specific treatment. It is important for those infected with the disease to drink plenty of fluids throughout the duration of the illness to avoid dehydration from diarrhea.

In more severe cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to shorten the duration of symptoms if given early in the illness. Although campylobacteriosis does not commonly cause death, it is estimated that 124 people in the United States die from complications of the illness each year.

How many cases of campylobacteriosis have been reported in Northern Kentucky?
37 cases were reported in Northern Kentucky in 2011.

From 2007 through 2010, an average of 45 cases each year were reported to the Health Department.

How can I prevent a campylobacteriosis infection?

1. Thoroughly cook all foods that come from animals, especially poultry. Be sure uncooked foods, such as fruits or vegetables, do not come into contact with cutting boards or knives that have been used with raw meat or poultry. Do not drink unpasteurized milk.
2. Frequent, careful hand washings.
3. Clean, rinse with clean water, then disinfect contaminated areas (bathroom).
4. See your health care provider if anyone in your home has symptoms. Your health care provider will decide if treatment is needed.

Where can I get more information on campylobacteriosis?
For more information online, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or call the Health Department at 859.363.2070.

Sources: Northern Kentucky Health Department Epidemiology; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention