Every year, approximately 2.4 million people in the U.S. become infected with campylobacteriosis, which is an infection caused by the bacteria campylobacter. The illness usually persists for about a week in people with healthy immune systems. However, individuals with compromised immunity may suffer a much more serious version of the disease. In some cases, the campylobacter bacteria can seep into the blood stream, causing a life-threatening condition. The Centers for Disease Control reports that approximately 124 people die of campylobacteriosis in the U.S. every year.
Symptoms of Campylobacteriosis
It usually takes between two and four days from the time of exposure for the symptoms of campylobacteriosis to arise. Usually, the illness causes symptoms that mimic those of other food borne illnesses or stomach viruses. These may include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and abdominal cramping. In some cases, diarrhea may be bloody.
It is important for campylobacteriosis victims to remain well-hydrated and to seek medical attention for an accurate diagnosis. In most cases, the body will eliminate the bacteria on its own, but for individuals with compromised immunity, hospitalization and antibiotics may be necessary to prevent the bacteria from spreading to the heart and brain, and also to prevent the onset of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which can cause paralysis.
Acquiring and Spreading Campylobacter
Campylobacter is most often spread through food contamination. Often, incidents are isolated and not connected to any specific brand or item. However, occasional campylobacter outbreaks can occur, resulting in the infection of more than one person as the result of a common food source. In fact, as recently as early 2012 there was a reported outbreak of campylobacter linked to raw milk products produced by the Family Farms Cooperative in Vandalia, Michigan.
You can avoid contracting campylobacter by taking precautions around raw meats and raw animal products. Although the bacteria is most prevalent in poultry, cross contamination can occur with other meats and foods. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water after handling raw meat, and do not allow children near surfaces or packaging that have been in contact with raw meats.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a campylobacter outbreak or another food borne illness outbreak, you may be entitled to compensation. Here at Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, PC, our food poisoning lawyers are dedicated to helping the victims of food borne illness outbreaks get the retribution they deserve. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.