Oklahoma campylobacter outbreak

On August 29, 1996, the Jackson County Health Department (JCHD) in southwestern Oklahoma notified the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) of a cluster of Campylobacter jejuni infections that occurred during August 16-20 among persons who had eaten lunch at a local restaurant on August 15. This report summarizes the investigation of these cases and indicates that C. jejuni infection was most likely acquired from eating lettuce cross-contaminated with raw chicken. This report also emphasizes the need to keep certain foods and cooking utensils separate during food handling.
A case was defined as illness in a person who had eaten lunch at the restaurant on August 15, 1996, and had onset of diarrhea (i.e., three or more loose stools during a 24-hour period) or vomiting during August 16-20. Of 25 persons available for interview who had eaten lunch at the restaurant on August 15, a total of 14 (56%) had had an illness that met the case definition. The median age of patients was 33 years (range: 5-52 years); 10 (71%) were female. All patients reported diarrhea; 13 (93%), fever; 13 (93%), abdominal cramps; 11 (79%), nausea; five (36%), vomiting; and three (21%), visible blood in their stools. The median incubation period was 3 days (range: 1-5 days). Two (14%) patients were hospitalized. Stool specimens were collected from 10 patients; all yielded C. jejuni. No food items were available for testing.

Continue Reading Outbreak of Campylobacter Enteritis Associated with Cross-Contamination of Food — Oklahoma, 1996