How to Reduce the Risk of getting Campylobacter Infection from Animals

What is Campylobacter?

Campylobacter is an infectious disease that is the leading cause of bacterial diarrheal illness and can be found everywhere. Campylobacter organism can cause illness in both humans and animals. The specie of Campylobacter responsible for most human illness cases is the Campylobacter jejuni. With over 1 million persons getting infected every year, most cases of Campylobacter occur mostly during the summer than in the winter. The primary mode of transmission of Campylobacter is from infected animals to humans. Campylobacter is commonly present in the gastrointestinal tract of most healthy farm animals and household pets of which direct exposure can lead to human infection. You can get infected by Campylobacter by handling raw poultry, eating uncooked poultry meat, unpasteurized milk or water from contaminated water sources that include rivers, streams, wells. It takes fewer than 500 campylobacter to cause illness in man.

The signs and symptoms of Campylobacter

Campylobacter symptoms begin to show 2 to 5 day of exposure with the infected person experiencing fever, headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, cramping or abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Inflammation of the intestinal tract also occurs. The diarrhea is the most prominent symptom of campylobacter.

A list of recommendation to reduce the risk of getting infect are below.

Do not consume unpasteurized milk or other milk products. Before you eat any poultry product, make sure they are no longer pink. Thoroughly cook you poultry product same goes for other meat products. Make sure any juices should run clear, temperatures for cooking white meat should be 170°F (77°C) and 180°F (82°C) for dark meat. Do not let children eat raw eggs. Wash hands with soap and water before and after handling raw foods. Wash hand thoroughly and dry your hands. If fruits will be consumed raw or used for preparation, wash and peel all fruits. When preparing other foods, use separate counter surfaces or cutting board and utensils to avoid cross contamination of the different food groups. After coming in contact with your household pet or their feces thoroughly wash your hand with soap and water before you handle food. After food preparation in the kitchen, clean all counter surfaces that were used in food preparation. Your water consumption should come from a safe water supply or should be properly treated because one of the most common sources of Campylobacter infection is from contaminated water. To reduce the risk of infection and transmission to others, people with diarrhea should frequently wash their hands with soap and water after using the bathroom or before food preparation. Basically practicing proper hygiene at home or work place can prevent infection, keep bathroom and toilet areas clean to avoid spread of bacteria

Treatment of Campylobacter infection

Since the most common symptom of Campylobacter is Diarrhea, person infected can recover without specific treatment. Plenty of fluids or electrolyte is advised as long as the diarrhea persist to prevent persons from dehydrating, in more severe cases do see your doctor to enable him put you on an antibiotic prescription if necessary.