Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program

Campylobacter

Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of diarrheal illness in the United States. Most people who become ill with campylobacteriosis get diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever within two to five days after exposure to the organism. The diarrhea may be bloody and can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The illness typically lasts one week. Most cases of campylobacteriosis are associated with eating raw or undercooked poultry meat or from cross-contamination of other foods by these items. Outbreaks of Campylobacter are usually associated with unpasteurized milk or contaminated water. The bacteria are common in chickens, but don’t make the chicken sick.