Bacterial and viral diseases from poultry is a growing problem that affects more people worldwide than every year. Whether the disease be viral in nature, as in the case of Avian or Bird Flu; or unpleasant intestinal bacterial infections such as salmonella. These diseases can be extremely unpleasant and even fatal to older adults and young children.
While salmonella is the most well known intestinal bacterial infection, another poultry caused disease known as Campylobacter, which also infects the stomach and intestinal tract, is on the rise in many parts of the world; and is now finding its way to the Middle East; especially where large quantities of eggs and other poultry products are consumed; especially in Israel.
An advisory issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) warns people about Campylobacter, a bacteria caused intestinal disease which like Salmonella, attacks the human digestive tract and can be very unpleasant and even fatal to senior adults and young children.
Campylobaacter symptoms include diarrhoea (frequently with blood in the feces), abdominal pain, fever, headache, nausea, and/or vomiting. These symptoms usually last three to six days; but also may lead to
complications such as bacteraemia or presence of bacteria in the blood, hepatitis, pancreatitis which cause infections of the liver and pancreas. The disease can also lead to post-infection complications such as arthritis and Neurological disorders.
Campylobacter bacteria are often found in chickens which though not actually infected, act as “carriers” for the disease. The bacteria are sensitive to high temperatures, however and can usually be destroyed by fully cooking poultry and eggs. This suggestion may not go down well with people who like to eat “sunny side up” fried eggs; but like Salmonella, avoiding partially cooked poultry and eggs is a small price to pay rather than spending all night on the toilet.
Another danger of this disease is dehydration caused by excessive diarrhoea: “The disease is more widespread than many people think. But it can be largely prevented by properly cooking poultry and eggs” says a spokesperson for Israel’s Agricultural Ministry.
Something to bear in mind next time, before ordering dishes like fried eggs or Eggs Benedict at morning brunches in Tel Aviv.
More about Poultry Related Bacteria and other diseases: