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Campylobacter Infections


Campylobacter infection is a common foodborne illness. You usually get it from eating contaminated food, especially raw or undercooked poultry. You can also get it from drinking contaminated water or raw milk, or handling infected animal feces (poop).

Some infected people don't have any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they start two to five days after you are infected. They usually last about one week, and can include

  • Diarrhea (which could be bloody)
  • Cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting

Health care providers use stool tests to make a diagnosis. Most people get better without treatment. You should drink extra fluids for as long as the diarrhea lasts. People who have a severe infection or a weakened immune system may need to take antibiotics. In rare cases, the infection can cause reactive arthritis or Guillain-Barre syndrome.

To prevent Campylobacter infection, cook poultry thoroughly. Use a separate cutting board and utensils for meats. Make sure to clean them carefully with soap and hot water after you use them.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Learn More

  • Bacteria Culture Test From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • (Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service) Also in
  • (Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service)
  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Patient Handouts

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