Campylobacter jejuni is not a bacteria which is commonly known and yet it causes much of the food poisoning both in Australia and across the world.
It is often called just “Campy” to make it easier for scientists and other alike.
It grows best at 37 to 42 C and takes two to five days for symptoms to show for most people.
It causes diarrhoea, fever and cramps and has the largest impact on the high risk groups of the elderly, young and the immune compromised.
If a person has had a bout of food poisoning from Campy, they can still be infectious for up to three weeks after the symptoms have gone.
In rare situations it can cause muscular paralysis though a condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. This condition usually resolves itself but facial tics and other minor paralysis can be permanent.
It is often associated with raw or undercooked poultry , but can also come from raw milk, contaminated water, pets and other people.
The controls needed to stop Campy are good handwashing, thorough cooking of meats, particularly poultry, and ensuring that raw foods and properly separated from cooked foods.
Although associated with these sources, the means of how Campy is transmitted is very complex and one of the hypothesis about how this happens is linked to house flies.
Researchers at he University of Guelph in Canada have been studying this means of transmission and found that house fly numbers seem to be increasing.
Their model shows that by 2080 the amount of human disease caused by campy will double from what it is now – and that is very scarey.