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Campylobacteriosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria of the genus Campylobacter. Symptoms normally develop within 2 to 5 days of exposure and can include:
- Diarrhoea, which may be bloody
- Abdominal pain
Most people who get Campylobacteriosis recover completely within 2 to 5 days, although sometimes recovery can take up to 10 days. Some people may develop arthritis following Campylobacteriosis, while others may develop a rare disease that affects the nerves of the body beginning several weeks after the diarrhoeal illness. It can also lead to long term symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Most cases of Campylobacteriosis are associated with handling raw poultry or eating raw or undercooked poultry meat. A very small number of Campylobacter organisms can cause illness in humans. Even one drop of juice from raw chicken meat can infect a person. One way to become infected is to cut poultry meat on a cutting board, and then use the unwashed cutting board or utensil to prepare vegetables or other raw or lightly cooked foods.
Larger outbreaks due to Campylobacter are not usually associated with raw poultry but are usually related to drinking unpasteurised milk or contaminated water. Animals can also be infected, and some people have acquired their infection from contact with the infected stool of an ill dog or cat.
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