is a bacterium that has been isolated
from freshwater, freshwater fish, and shellfish and from many types
of animals including cattle, goats, swine, cats, dogs, monkeys,
vultures, snakes, and toads. Most human
infections are suspected to be waterborne. The organism may be
present in unsanitary water which has been used as drinking water,
recreational water, or water used to rinse foods that are consumed
without cooking or heating. The ingested
organism does not always cause illness. It has been found in the
stools of patients with diarrhea, but is also sometimes found in
healthy individuals. It cannot yet be considered a definite cause
of human disease.
Gastroenteritis is the disease with which
has been implicated.
usually a mild self-limiting disease with fever, chills, abdominal
pain, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting. Symptoms may begin 20-24 hours
after consumption of contaminated food or water; diarrhea is
watery, non-mucoid, and non-bloody. In severe cases, diarrhea may
be greenish-yellow, foamy, and blood tinged. Duration of illness in
healthy people may be 1-7 days. The infectious dose is presumed to
be quite high, at least greater than one million organisms.
infections occur in the summer
months and correlate with environmental contamination of freshwater
(rivers, streams, ponds, etc.). The usual route of transmission of
the organism in sporadic or epidemic cases is by ingestion of
contaminated water or raw shellfish.
strains associated with human
gastrointestinal disease have been from stools of diarrheic
patients living in tropical and subtropical areas. Such infections
are rarely reported in the U.S. or Europe because of the
self-limiting nature of the disease.
infection may cause diarrhea of 1-2 days
duration in healthy adults. However, there may be high fever and
chills and protracted dysenteric symptoms in infants and children
under 15 years of age. Extra- intestinal complications ( septicemia
and death) may occur in people who are immunocompromised or
seriously ill with cancer, blood disorders, or hepatobiliary
All people may be susceptible to
infection. Infants, children and chronically ill people are more
likely to experience protracted illness and complications.
Food and Drug
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a
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