September 21, 2023

Wisconsin School Cancels More Football due to Campylobacter

The Durand School District is continuing to reschedule various student activities as the western Wisconsin community grapples with a sweeping outbreak of Campylobacter food poisoning. According to the official school calendar, Monday’s C-squad and junior varsity Panther football games against Amery have been canceled. Meanwhile, school volleyball matches canceled last week have been rescheduled for Thursday. The moves were made as the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene continues to offer testing for any ill students and staff. The most recent school district announcement notes that the source of the outbreak is still actively under investigation by the Pepin County Health Department and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Campylobacter in Petri Dish“To date, Campylobacter has been detected in multiple specimens from ill individuals,” the district announced late Friday. “Any person ill with diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever or other gastrointestinal symptoms should remain home from school and follow good hand washing and other hygienic practices to prevent the spread of the bacteria to other people.”

The weekend’s varsity football game between Durand and Amery was canceled after more than half the football team and most of its coaches fell ill. The team is hoping to resume its normal activity this week to prepare for Friday’s homecoming game against Osceola. High fevers and dehydration have sent some of the victims to local hospitals for treatment and observation. Campylobacter infection can be treated with antiobiotics, but it also can lead to more serious disease, including life-threatening meningitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), Guillain-Barrè syndrome (GBS), and gall bladder inflammation. Located in Pepin County’s seat of government, the Durand school system is hoping this week to regain normal absentee rates following last week’s exceptional phenomena of numerous empty seats.

Campylobacteriosis is a bacterial infection that affects the intestinal tract and, in rare cases, the bloodstream. It is the most commonly reported cause of bacterial diarrhea in Wisconsin and the United States. Most cases are seen in the summer months and occur as single cases or outbreaks. Most people who become ill with campylobacteriosis get diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever within 2-5 days after exposure to the organism. The diarrhea may be bloody and can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Depending on variables, victims of Campylobacter outbreaks can sue for recovery of medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages and some future considerations.

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