The McHenry County Department of Health is encouraging awareness and prevention after identifying an increase in campylobacteriosis cases in McHenry County.
The MCDH has identified 8 cases of campylobacteriosis between Aug. 17 and Aug. 30, which is four times more cases compared to the previous two weeks and 3.33 times more cases in August compared to July. No common source of infection has been identified at this time.
Campylobacter bacteria is the most common cause of bacterial diarrhea in the United States. People can become ill with campylobacteriosis by eating contaminated food, drinking contaminated water or having contact with infected animals.
Most people who become ill from the infection get diarrhea, which may be bloody, and may experience cramping, abdominal pain and fever within two to five days after exposure to the bacteria. Nausea and vomiting may also occur. The illness typically lasts about one week. Those who believe they have symptoms should contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible.
The majority of people with campylobacteriosis will recover on their own and should drink extra fluids to prevent dehydration. Antibiotics are occasionally used to treat severe cases or people who are at high risk for severe disease.
The best way to prevent a campylobacteriosis infection is to take precautions:
- Do not drink raw (unpasteurized) milk or untreated water from lakes, rivers or ponds
- Practice good hand hygiene, especially when handling puppies or kittens with diarrhea
- Wash hands before, during and after preparing food
- Cook all raw meats to proper temperature
- Use soap and hot water to wash cutting boards, counters or utensils used to prepare raw poultry, seafood or meat to prevent cross contamination with other foods
- Avoid handling food, caring for others, patient care or daycare work if symptomatic