28.1 C
Lagos
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Campylobacter Infection: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

- Advertisement -

The Campylobacter infection is an intestinal infection that causes diarrhoea. In rare cases, severe complications may arise. These bacteria are also one of the many causes of traveller’s diarrhoea or food poisoning.

- Advertisement -

The Campylobacter infection is caused by a spiral-shaped, curved or rod-shaped bacterium. They are motile, meaning they move via unipolar or bipolar flagella.

The Campylobacter infection is transmittable to humans through infected animals or contaminated animal products. This is possible through direct contact with infected animals or consuming contaminated food via undercooked meat or meat products.

Most cases, meats are contaminated by Campylobacter from faeces during slaughtering. Contaminated water and ice are also a source of getting infected with the Campylobacter infection. Some cases of  Campylobacter Infection occur after contact with infected water during recreational activities.

The Campylobacter bacteria are mostly found in warm-blooded animals such as poultry (chicken), sheep, pigs, cattle, shellfish. It can also be found in pets such as cats and dogs. These animals often carry Campylobacter infection asymptomatically, but they are still able to transmit it the bacteria and cause disease.

Campylobacter is also known with other names, and they include Campylobacteriosis or Campylobacter gastroenteritis. Although anyone in any age bracket can get infected with, babies and children have higher chances of getting infected, and the condition is more common in men than in women.

Causes

Campylobacter infection is caused by Campylobacter bacteria. These bacteria are usually found in the digestive systems of poultry, cattle, pigs, ostrich.

A person can get infected by eating contaminated meat, drinking contaminated water and unpasteurised milk. The most common source includes;

  • Raw poultry and undercooked meat
  • Contaminated vegetable
  • Contaminated water
  • Unpasteurised milk
  • Close contact with infected animals or person

Contamination usually occurs when infected animals are slaughtered. The bacteria spread from the intestine of the infected animal to other parts of the meat. Infection in a cow’s udder or contact with manure can contaminate milk.

This is why it is strongly advised to only consume pasteurised dairy products to avoid getting infected. In some under-developed countries, infected animal waste can get into streams and lake.

When water is contaminated, it can spread the bacteria to people, and their farm produces such as fruits and vegetables. Therefore, it is advised to wash your fruits and vegetables with clean water before consumption.

- Advertisement -

Symptoms

The onset of symptoms occurs 2 to 5 days after Campylobacter bacteria gets into the body system. The symptoms usually last 3 to 6 days. The symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramp or pain (this can be mild or severe)
  • Fever (typically mild)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dehydration
  • Bloating

When a person’s immune system is suppressed,  the infection may spread to the heart or brain.

Other problems that may occur are:

  • Form of arthritis called reactive arthritis, -although this is rare
  • A disorder that makes the body’s immune system to attack the body’s nerves called Guillain-Barre syndrome which can lead to paralysis. This occurs on rare occasions
  • Gall bladder infection also known as Cholecystitis

Treatment

The Campylobacter infection is self-limiting and usually goes away on its own in a week. Therefore, treatments with antibiotics are not required (except in severe cases).

Nonetheless, there are steps one can adopt to feel better, and they include;

  • Taking water or fluids (that contain simple salts and sugars) to keep you hydrated. For patients who have diabetes, stick to clean water and sugar-free fluids
  • Consuming at least a cup of liquid every time you use the toilet
  • Consuming salty foods such as chips, soup, sports drinks, pretzels
  • Eating food that is high in potassium like potatoes, banana and watered-down fruit juices
  • Children may need intravenous fluid treatment in a health care centre

Do not take medications to stop vomiting and diarrhoea unless your health care provider advises you to. Diarrhoea and vomiting are the body’s way of shedding and getting rid of the infection.

For immune-compromised patients (patients with HIV/AIDS or patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy), it is advised to contact your health care provider immediately. The doctor may prescribe medications such as Azithromycin, Levofloxacin, or Ciprofloxacin to help fight the infection.

Diagnosis

Diarrhoea and vomiting are symptoms of many illnesses as it is also one of the symptoms of the infection. Therefore, for proper and accurate diagnosis, the doctor may collect your stool sample and have it tested for Campylobacter jejuni.

This may take several days before there is a result. In rare cases, the doctor may require a blood test which takes a longer time (up to 2 weeks) before the results are ready.

Prevention

Prevention, they say, is better than cure. Specific preventive measures can be taken to minimise the risk of infection, and they include;

- Advertisement -
  • Proper hand hygiene especially when handling raw poultry or meat
  • Keep uncooked poultry or meat away from other foods like fruits and vegetables. You can use a separate utensil, cooking surface and cutting board for them
  • Cook meat or poultry at least at 165 Fahrenheit. The meat should never be pink but white
  • Avoid consuming poultry or meat that appears undercooked
  • Avoid drinking unpasteurised milk and dairy products
  • Wash hands after touching a pet or animal
  • Wash hands too after coming in contact with animal poop
  • Infected people should also wash their hands regularly
  • Proper hygienic measures should be taken by slaughterhouses and raw meat producers to contain contamination
  • Adequate sanitary measures should also be adopted by domestic and professional food handlers to keep contamination to the bare minimum
  • Avoid ice made from questionable water
  • Cook food properly and serve hot
  • Treat or disinfect questionable water with a slow-release disinfectant agent
  • Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables if they are going to be eaten raw. You can also peel the back of the fruits before consumption
  • Professional food handlers who suffer from fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, or visible infected skin lesions should report to their employer immediately
  • Avoid school, work or any public places until stool is firm. This will help limit and contain the spread of The Campylobacter Infection
  • If you still have diarrhoea, stay home and try to stay hydrated. A relapse is possible, but not likely

Contact your health care provider if:

  • Diarrhoea and vomiting start in infants under three months
  • The symptoms persist after one week or come back
  • The stool is bloody
  • You are unable to consume fluids due to nausea or vomiting
  • Fever is above 38 degrees Celsius
  • You experience signs of dehydration like dizziness, thirst, dry mouth and light-headedness or dark urine
  • You have severe abdominal pain or cramp
  • You have been vomiting for more than 12 hours

The immune system is compromised or suppressed by HIV/AIDS or by medications used to treat cancer. Campylobacter bacteria can cause severe infection in the bloodstream and other complications.

Sources;

Campylobacter Infection; Webmd
Campylobacteriosis; Wikipedia

campylobacter infection
  • Save
- Advertisement -

Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Oluwafemi Michael
Oluwafemi Michael is an online Mental Health Therapist, Advocate for Mental Health Awareness, a programmer, and also a content creator from Edo state, Akoko-Edo LG.
- Advertisement -

Trending Now

7 Types of Depression You Didn’t Know Existed

Depression is no longer a strange disease to most people anymore as we have heard of so many deaths and sicknesses that have been...
- Advertisement -

Skin Rashes: Causes, Symptoms and Effective Home Remedies

Skin rashes are common skin problems experienced by millions of people worldwide; it is characterized by a visible change in the color...

Atis Fruit: 10 Health Benefits of Eating Sugar Apple

Sugar apple (Atis fruit), is the Annona squamosa fruit belonging to the natives of West Indies and to the tropical Americas like Peru, Mexico,...

Spider Bites: Symptoms, Treatment & Identification

Spider bites in the United States are often annoying but they are rarely fatal. If a person gets bitten by a black...

How to Increase Sodium Levels in Your Blood?

Levels of sodium in the blood is often a misunderstood topic and it is extremely necessary that we as individuals understand the meaning and...

What Causes Pain Between Shoulder Blades?

Shoulder blade is in the upper side of your back, the scapulae, which become prominent if you pull your elbows close to your trunk...

Oral Surgery Recovery – What Foods to Eat

Had oral surgery? Then it’s very hard to have foods while in recovery. An oral surgery makes you feel weak and nauseous. So it’s...

7 Types of Disability and Examples

For disabled people life is a lot different than the rest of us. They don’t lead normal lives like we do and need assistance...

How to Deal With a Jealous Sister-in-law?

Getting along with sisters-in-law or potential sisters-in-law could be very frustrating whether or not they had a very tight bond with their...

MRI Scan – Definition, Uses, and Procedure

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is a popular procedure all over the world. MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to form...

Are There Any Side Effects Of CBD Gummies?

CBD is a popular option for millions of users all over the world who want to take a more “natural” approach to manage their...

Friends

Newsletter

Nurture yourself with health tips, wellness advice, and more.

- Advertisement -

Related Posts

Top Health Hazards People Overlook

If you ask anyone straight up if they want to be healthy, no one will say that they aren’t interested in remaining healthy and...

Open Defecation in Nigeria: Health Risks and the Way Forward

Nature is ineludible, and no one can decline when it calls. But could this be the reason why a lot of Nigerians answer its...

7 Types of Depression You Didn’t Know Existed

Depression is no longer a strange disease to most people anymore as we have heard of so many deaths and sicknesses that have been...

Exploring the Risks and Side Effects of Penis Enlargement Surgery

Have you been thinking about increasing the size of your penis? Pretty much every man on the planet would absolutely love to have a...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

campylobacter infection
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap