A Campylobacter outbreak at Alejandro’s Taqueria in Fairfield, CA has sickened at least 32 people, according to the Solano County Department of Public Health. Those who became ill ate at the restaurant between May 26 and May 29. The restaurant was temporarily closed on June 8.
Campylobacter bacteria is transferred via the fecal-oral route, meaning those who develop Campylobacter infections have ingested microscopic amounts of human or animal feces. Symptoms of an infection, called campylobacteriosis, include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Usually, these symptoms develop two to five days after exposure and last about a week. During this time, the diarrhea can become bloody and sometimes there is also nausea and vomiting.
Infections in young children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems can cause serious health problems. A small percentage of people with campylobacteriosis may develop reactive arthritis which causes joint pain and swelling after infection. Or, they may develop Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a condition that causes weakness and paralysis which can occur several weeks after the initial illness.
Health officials advise anyone who ate at the restaurant and developed these symptoms to see a doctor and mention possible exposure to Campylobacter. A stool sample culture can determine if there is an infection related to this outbreak.
A food source of this outbreak has not yet been determined. Campylobacteriosis is often associated with contaminated poultry, milk and water; or contact with infected animals.