Campylobacter food poisoning is considered one of the many types of traveler’s diarrhea. Caused by Campylobacter jejuni bacteria, this type of food poisoning results in an infection of the small intestine which causes the affected individual to have watery diarrhea for about a week. The illness most often affects young adults between the ages of 15 and 29 and children under the age of five. Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the United States.
Campylobacter food poisoning is contracted by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Poultry is one food commonly found to transmit the illness, with up to 70% of cases of campylobacter food poisoning traced to eating chicken. Other foods identified as vehicles for the illness include undercooked meats, cheese, shellfish, eggs, and mushrooms. Campylobacter food poisoning rarely occurs as an outbreak and the bacteria are easily killed by heat and basic disinfection procedures.
Symptoms begin 2 to 4 days after eating the contaminated food and lasts for one week. The typical symptoms of campylobacter food poisoning include abdominal pain, abdominal cramping, fever, and watery diarrhea. Individuals may also experience nausea, vomiting, headache, and muscle pain. Severe cases may last for up to three weeks and ¼ of sufferers will experience a relapse.
Some individuals suffering from campylobacter food poisoning will develop a rare nerve condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome. This condition is the most common cause of acute cases of generalized paralysis in the Western world. The condition occurs when the antibodies that the body creates to attack the campylobacter cells start to attack the body’s nerve cells because they are chemically similar. Beginning at the feet and moving slowly throughout the body, Guillain-Barre syndrome starts with pricking sensations that turn into weakness that can progress into paralysis. The condition can last for months and, even though most patients make a full recovery, victims can be left with severe neurological damage. Around 15% of individuals that contract Guillain-Barre syndrome remain wheelchair bound or bedridden one year after contracting the illness.
Most cases of campylobacter food poisoning are mild and do not require hospitalization. The illness lasts for 5 – 8 days and typically goes away on its own. In rare cases, the illness can be serious and life-threatening. Symptoms that are severe may respond to antibiotic treatment and anti-diarrheal medication may be administered to make the patient more comfortable. Death from campylobacter food poisoning is more common when other diseases are present, such as liver disease or cancer.
It is estimated that close to 4 million cases of campylobacter food poisoning occurs in the United States every year. About 100 people will die from the infection annually. Cases or campylobacter food poisoning occur more frequently in the summer months than in the winter. Drug researchers, in conjunction with the military, are working to create a vaccine for the illness, but an approved vaccine is still several years away.
The Information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical or legal advice. If you feel that you or someone you know has food poisoning, seek medical attention immediately by visiting your doctor of by dialing 911.
Do I have a Campylobacter Food Poisoning Lawsuit?
The Personal Injury Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in food poisoning lawsuits. We are handling individual and group outbreak litigation nationwide and currently accepting new food poisoning cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of food poisoning, you should contact us immediately. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries by filing a food poisoning lawsuit and we can help.