Campylobacter bacteria contribute to 1.3 million illnesses each year in the United States. The infection is most commonly spread through the consumption of undercooked poultry, but may also stem from contaminated water or unpasteurized milk. It results in diarrhea, cramping, and fever. Although symptoms typically subside without medical intervention, Campylobacter infection can spread to the bloodstream and be life-threatening.
The most common symptom of Campylobacter infection is diarrhea. The diarrhea may contain blood and be accompanied by abdominal cramps and fever, nausea, and vomiting. Although some people infected by the bacteria show no symptoms at all, most typically begin showing symptoms two to five days after consuming the bacteria. On average, symptoms of Campylobacter infection persist for one week before ceasing on their own.
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