Campylobacter is the bacterium responsible for campylobacteriosis which is defined by vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping and fever. It is typically spread via contaminated water and food.
The condition generally affects individuals with lower immune functioning such as the elderly and young children. It is important to note that campylobacteriosis is one of the main causes of food-borne ailments and even diarrhea. In case the bacterium moves into the bloodstream, it can be dangerous.
What is the cause of a campylobacter infection?
The campylobacter bacterium is typically found in the intestines of animals. It is generally found in cattle, chickens and even household animals such as dogs and cats.
- The bacteria can be passed via the feces. Both humans and animals can acquire the infection if exposed to the feces.
- In case the meat of an infected animal was not properly cooked, it can cause an infection if ingested.
- Exposure to infected feces especially from children when changing diapers
- Exposure to feces of household animals such as dogs and cats
- Sources of water and unpasteurized milk might be contaminated by the bacteria
What are the signs?
The indications of campylobacter infection typically manifest 1-7 days after being exposed to the bacteria.
The usual indications that might arise include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Diarrhea that might contain mucus or blood
- Low abdominal pain
The symptoms might last for up to a week. In some cases, there are no indications at all.
In most cases, there is no precise treatment for a campylobacter infection. Remember that dehydration can develop due to diarrhea. It is vital to increase the intake of fluids and electrolyte-based beverages to prevent dehydration.
The diarrhea is expected to subside within 2-5 days. In some cases, antibiotics such as erythromycin or azithromycin are given to lessen the symptoms if the infection has been detected early.