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Health Indicator Report of Foodborne Illness - Campylobacter Infections

''Campylobacter'' is one of the most common bacterial causes of diarrheal illness in the United States. Most cases occur as isolated, sporadic events, and not as a part of a large outbreak. The majority of those infected will experience symptoms within 2-5 days after exposure to the bacteria, including diarrhea, severe abdominal cramping, and fever; this may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The illness typically lasts one week, but may be prolonged in some individuals and relapse can occur. Long-term complications are rare, but include reactive arthritis and Guillain-Barre Syndrome. All age groups can be infected by ''Campylobacter'' bacteria. The infection is acquired by eating or drinking food contaminated with ''Campylobacter'' bacteria. Illness may also be spread by direct contact with an infected person or animal. Farm animals, improperly cooked poultry, untreated water, and unpasteurized (raw) milk are the main sources of infection.

Reported confirmed and probable campylobacteriosis cases by local health district, Utah, 2022

Reported confirmed and probable campylobacteriosis cases by local health district, Utah, 2022

Data Sources

  • For years 2020 and later, the population estimates are provided by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, Utah state and county annual population estimates are by single year of age and sex, IBIS Version 2022
  • Utah Department of Health and Human Services Office of Communicable Diseases

Data Interpretation Issues

The rate reported is the number of cases in Utah per 100,000 population per year.


Campylobacteriosis is an infectious disease that is a leading cause of acute diarrheal illness worldwide. Symptoms can range from no symptoms to severe bloody diarrhea with symptoms similar to acute appendicitis. However, the most common symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal pain, malaise, fever, nausea, and vomiting. It is caused by a motile, gram negative bacteria of the genus ''Campylobacter''.


Number of culture-confirmed and probable cases of campylobacteriosis reported in Utah each year.


Total Utah population per year.

How Are We Doing?

Campylobacteriosis became a reportable disease in Utah in 1983. Increases in number of campylobacteriosis cases per 100,000 population reported annually since 1983 may be due to better reporting and improved laboratory detection methods. The incidence of campylobacteriosis in 2022 was slightly higher than in years preceding the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Active surveillance through FoodNet indicates that 19.2 cases were diagnosed in 2022 for each 100,000 persons in the U.S. population. The incidence in Utah during 2022 was similar, at 19.8 cases per 100,000 persons in the Utah population. Many cases go undiagnosed or unreported, and campylobacteriosis is estimated to affect over 2.4 million persons every year in the U.S., or 0.8% of the population. Campylobacteriosis has been a nationally notifiable disease since 2014.

What Is Being Done?

Per the Communicable Disease Rule R386-702-3, health care providers and laboratories are required to report cases of ''Campylobacter'' to the Utah Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) or a local health department and submit clinical material to the Utah Public Health Laboratory. The Disease Response, Evaluation, Analysis, and Monitoring Program at DHHS assists local health departments with the investigation of cases and outbreaks and implementation of control measures to prevent further cases. Local health departments make an attempt to interview every case of campylobacteriosis reported to public health. Information gathered during these interviews includes food history, water exposure, animal exposure, outdoor exposure, travel history, and contact with ill individuals. Data from these interviews are analyzed and used to identify outbreaks and common sources of infection. In addition, patients are provided with information on high risk exposures and how to prevent future campylobacteriosis infection in themselves and their families. Some general guidelines to prevent the spread of ''Campylobacter'' include the following: *Always refrigerate meat products. Never leave raw meat at room temperature. *Always cook meat completely. *Always cook raw eggs or foods containing raw eggs well. *Avoid using unpasteurized milk. *Carefully wash hands before and after preparing food. *Always wash hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet or changing diapers and make sure children wash their hands especially after using the toilet or handling pets. [[br]] Visit [] for proper hand washing technique.

Available Services

Foodborne disease outbreaks and other outbreaks are investigated primarily by local health departments in collaboration with the Utah Department of Health and Human Services as needed.[[br]] []
Page Content Updated On 02/08/2024, Published on 03/06/2024
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Wed, 24 July 2024 11:57:54 from Utah Department of Health and Human Services, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 26 Jun 2024 10:27:17 MDT