I just got over a bout of Campylobacteriosis which I got from a sick
feral kitten who had diarrhea.
The symptoms in kittens and puppies are diarrhea. the symptoms in humans
are rampant diarrhea (100%) and usually accompanied by any or allof the
following: fever, chills, headache, body aches, cramps and nausea. In
other words, sounds like the typical flu-like disease without the upper
respiratory symptoms, or like food poisoning which is the most common
means of transmission for C. Jejuni, the bacterial culprit. It most
often comes from undercooked poultry, but the CDC, the FDA and the USDA
all cite Campylobacter as the *leading* cause of human diarrheal disease
and all cite contact with infected house pets as a possible cause.
C. jejuni has shown up in the water supply in some areas of southern
California, and is common in birds so cats that eat birds or garbage
containing poultry scraps can get it quite easily.
If you are working with feral or "street" kittens who have diarrhea
please be aware that this is highly contagious to humans, and in spite of
frequent handwashing you can get it from just petting them.
Be cautious, and if you get something like this after contact with ferals
please call your doctor and have him/her notify the public health
department. It almost always cures itself after about 5-7 days, but
can have some rare, but very serious side effects such as meningitis or
Guillam-Barre Syndrome, which causes paralysis. It's *especially*
dangerous to immunosuppressed people such as people with AIDS or
Most vets don't have a clue about this disease, but physicians do. Email