Communicable Diseases - Campylobacteriosis

Communicable Disease Prevention and Control

Campylobacteriosis - Food and Water Borne Diseases

Campylobacteriosis is an acute bacterial disease that affects the digestive system. Infection occurs by eating undercooked chicken or pork or ingesting contaminated food, water or raw milk. It may also be acquired through close contact with infected infants.

The incidence of campylobacteriosis in Nova Scotia has shown a decreasing trend over the last decade, from 24.8 cases per 100,000 people in 1995 to just over 15 cases. In 2004, approximately 66% of cases were diagnosed in individuals 30 years of age or older, and 55% of cases occurred in males.

What is the treatment?

Most people infected with Campylobacter recover without the need for any medical treatment. Patients should drink plenty of fluids as long as the diarrhea lasts. In more severe cases, antibiotics can be used.  Sometimes antibiotics can shorten the duration of symptoms if they are given early in the illness. Your doctor will make the decision about whether antibiotics are necessary.

How can Camylobacteriosis be prevented?

You can prevent campylobacteriosis by:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water after using the toilet, changing diapers, cleaning a litter box, and before preparing foods
  • Eating well-cooked meats, poultry, and eggs
  • Eating only milk or cheese that is pasteurized
  • Keeping raw foods away from cooked foods; by washing cutting boards and utensils; and not reusing meat trays or other packaging