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.
Immunosuppressed people with this condition are more vulnerable to sepsis, endocarditis, meningitis, and thrombophlebitis from the spread of the bacteria into their bloodstream.
Some patients will get a form of arthritis called Reiter’s syndrome 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.
Calling Your Health Care Provider
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.
Review Date : 9/20/2008
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.