Campylobacteriosis - Causes and Symptoms
Definition of Campylobacteriosis:
Campylobacteriosis is a bacterial infection that affects the intestinal tract and, rarely, the bloodstream. It refers to infection by the group of bacteria known as Campylobacter. The term comes from the Greek word meaning "curved rod" referring to the bacteria's curved shape. It is probably the most common cause of bacterial diarrhea in New York State which most often affects children and younger adults. Most cases are seen in the summer months and occur as single cases. Outbreaks are uncommon.
The illness typically lasts 1 week. Some persons who are infected with Campylobacter don't have any symptoms at all. In persons with compromised immune systems, Campylobacter occasionally spreads to the bloodstream and causes a serious life-threatening infection. Campylobacter infections account for a substantial percent of food-borne illness encountered each year.
Causes of Campylobacteriosis
Anyone can get campylobacteriosis. These bacteria are a significant cause of diarrhea, especially in developing countries, and is a frequent cause of travelers diarrhea. A person becomes infected with Campylobacter by swallowing the bacteria. This can occur when an individual eats or drinks food or water contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria. Illness occurs more frequently in summer than in winter.
Some other Causes of Developing Campylobacteriosis:
Symptoms of Campylobacteriosis
The illness usually begins 2 to 5 days after eating or drinking infected food or water and lasts for at least 1 week. Sometimes the illness gets better for a short time, then gets worse again. Complications from Campylobacter infections are rare. In 50 percent of the cases the infection does not produces any symptoms.
Some of the Symptoms encountered may be:
Treatment of Campylobacteriosis
Usually all persons infected with Campylobaeter recover without any specific treatment. Patients should drink plenty of fluids (such as Lytren, Gastrolyte, or Pedialyte) as long as the diarrhea lasts. Antibiotics are occasionally used to treat severe cases or to shorten the carrier phase, which may be important for food handlers, children in day care and health care workers. Since relapses occasionally occur, some physicians might treat mild cases with antibiotics to prevent a recurrence of symptoms.
Try to drink a cup of water or rehydration drink for each large, loose stool you have. Sports drinks, soda pop, and fruit juice contain too much sugar and don't contain enough of the important electrolytes that are lost during diarrhea - so these drinks should be avoided as a rehydration drink.
Symptoms should clear up within a week. If they get worse or if you find blood in your stools, in such a case you must see your health care provider. You should also avoid oral or anal sex until the symptoms of campylobacteriosis have gone completely.
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