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June 20, 2018 12:19 PM

Health Advisory: Increased Incidence of Campylobacter Cases in Nassau County


Nassau County Department of Health, in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health, is investigating an increase in reports of Campylobacter where the source of infection is unknown. Few cases reporting travel outside of the country during their incubation period. Providers should consider Campylobacter in their differential diagnosis of patients with signs and symptoms of Campylobacter, regardless of travel history.


Campylobacter is a bacterial infection that causes diarrhea with an incubation period typically of 2–4 days and a range of 1-10 days. Campylobacter infection is characterized by diarrhea (frequently bloody), abdominal pain, fever, and occasionally nausea and vomiting. More severe illness can occur, including dehydration, bloodstream infection, and symptoms mimicking acute appendicitis or ulcerative colitis.


Most cases of Campylobacter infection occur after someone eats raw or undercooked poultry or eats another food that has been contaminated by raw or undercooked poultry. Outbreaks of Campylobacter infection are infrequently reported relative to the number of illnesses. Outbreaks have been associated with unpasteurized dairy products, contaminated water, poultry, and produce. People also can get infected from contact with the feces of a dog or cat. Person-to-person spread of Campylobacter is uncommon.


Most infections are self-limited. Patients should drink extra fluids as long as the diarrhea lasts. Antimicrobial therapy is needed only for patients with severe disease or those at high risk for severe disease, such as people with immune systems that are severely weakened from medications or other illnesses. Azithromycin and fluoroquinolones (e.g., ciprofloxacin) are commonly used for treatment, but resistance to fluoroquinolones is common. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing can help guide appropriate therapy.


Stool culture with isolation of Campylobacter spp. from a clinical specimen.

Detection of Campylobacter spp. in a clinical specimen using a culture-independent diagnostic test (CIDT), such as a polymerase chain reaction test.


Providers should report cases of Campylobacter to Nassau County Department of Health within 24 hours to:

Nassau County Department of Health

Division of Communicable Disease Control

(516) 227-9639 Monday-Friday 9am-4:45pm

After hours, weekends and holidays (516) 742-6154

Fax: (516) 227-9669

Additional information on Campylobacter is available on the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website as well as the New York State Department of Health website at the following links:

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