A species of bacterium found in farm and pet animals, from which it can be transmitted to humans, in whom it is a major cause of bacterial FOOD POISONING: outbreaks of infection have followed drinking unpasteurised milk from infected cows and eating undercooked meat and poultry. It causes diarrhoea.
In the United Kingdom, the number of cases of food poisoning (by all types of infection) has risen from 102.9 to 162.9 per 100,000 population over the last 15 years. In 2003, more then 70,000 cases of food poisoning were notiﬁed. The use of preventive methods throughout the food production process, marketing and consumption of food is most important in controlling infection, as is taking hygienic precautions, such as hand-washing, after handling animals – including domestic pets.
Mild cases can be treated at home with no solid food but plenty of liquids and some salt. Serious cases require hospital care.