Food poisoning - campylobacter enteritis; Infectious diarrhea - campylobacter enteritis; Bacterial diarrhea
The infection typically goes away on its own and is not usually treated with antibiotics. Severe symptoms may respond to treatment with antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin and azithromycin.
Self-care measures to avoid dehydration include drinking electrolyte solutions to replace the fluids lost with diarrhea. People with diarrhea, especially children, who are unable to take fluids by mouth because of nausea, may need medical attention and intravenous fluids.
People taking diuretics (water pills) need to be careful when they have diarrhea and may need to stop taking the medicine during the acute episode, if directed to do so by their health care provider.
Most people recover in 5-8 days.
Some patients will get a form of arthritis called reactive arthritis after a Campylobacter enteritis infection.
About 1 in 1,000 patients with campylobacter enteritis develop a nerve problem that results in paralysis, called Guillain-Barre syndrome. Paralysis associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome is usually temporary but requires medical attention.
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if diarrhea comes back or continues for more than a week, or if there is blood in the stool.
Allos BM, Blaser MJ. Campylobacter jejuni and related species. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 216.
Craig SA, Zich DK. Gastroenteritis. In: Marx JA, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 92.
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