PUBLIC HEALTH FACT SHEET
What is Campylobacter?
It is an intestinal infection caused by a bacteria named Campylobacter jejuni. It is one of the most common causes of diarrhea in the world.
How is it spread?
Campylobacter is spread by eating food that is contaminated with the bacteria (these germs are often found in undercooked meat and poultry), or by drinking contaminated water and unpasteurized milk. It can also be spread from contact with feces of infected dogs, cats and other animals. This organism is not readily transmitted from person to person except from children in diapers.
How is it treated?
Most of the time the only treatment will be to replace fluids lost due to diarrhea. Antibiotics may shorten the duration of infection and prevent relapse if given early in the illness. If antibiotics are prescribed, make sure to finish all the medication. If you are a food-handler, or work at, or attend a day care, you should be off work (or not attend) until you no longer have symptoms.
How can we prevent Campylobacter?
Practice good hygiene and always wash your hands after going to the toilet and before preparing food.
- Thoroughly cook all poultry, meats and eggs.
- Wash in hot soapy water all utensils or cutting boards that were used for raw meat/poultry.
- Don’t drink water from unknown or unsafe sources.
SYMPTOMS OF CAMPYLOBACTER
- Abdominal pain
Illness usually lasts 2-5 days, sometimes longer in adults. Some people
may have the germ with no signs of illness at all (an