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Enteric, Zoonotic and Vector-Borne Diseases

Campylobacteriosis or Campylobacter enteritis is the most commonly reported enteric disease in Ontario, causing diarrhea (sometimes bloody), abdominal pain (mild to severe), fever, malaise and nausea. Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli are the bacteria most often associated with Campylobacter enteritis. Symptoms usually appear two to five days after exposure. Campylobacteriosis typically resolves without treatment in a week; however, in some cases, symptoms may last for up to two weeks. While most cases are mild, infections can cause serious complications or, more rarely, death, especially among the very young, elderly and immunocompromised.

A variety of warm-blooded animals can harbor Campylobacter bacteria, particularly cattle and poultry, and in some cases, household pets such as puppies, kittens, swine, sheep, rodents and birds. Infection occurs through direct contact with animals or through consuming undercooked meat and poultry, unpasteurized dairy products or contaminated water. In Canada, transmission is primarily through contaminated food.

At home, the prevention of Campylobacter infections includes appropriate food handling practices such as cooking food to the correct internal temperatures, ensuring milk and dairy products are pasteurized and avoiding cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods. Campylobacter infections can be prevented by washing hands carefully after contact with animals, or using a 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.

Page last reviewed:
Page last updated: 2018-06-15 1:32 PM
Uncontrolled print copy. Valid only on day of Print: [date]
Page updated on [date/time] 2018-06-15 1:32 PM
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