“I am still dealing with the consequences of an illness I had as a teenager …”
PATHOGEN: Campylobacter | SOURCE: Poultry
Mary contracted a Campylobacter infection in 1980 from eating undercooked chicken served at a restaurant. Mary was only 16 when she fell ill, and because she had severe cramping and diarrhea she was unable to keep any food in. She soon began to lose significant weight. Her doctors failed to offer a diagnosis, so her older sister, a laboratory manager, took matters into her own hands. She collected samples from which the cause of Mary’s affliction was determined to be Campylobacteriosis.
Mary’s road to recovery lingers as she continues to endure long-term mobility consequences she believes are directly related to her bout with foodborne illness.
Today, Mary has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Lyme Disease, chronic diseases of the central nervous system, which she believes could be a direct result of her battle with Campylobacter. Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an autoimmune condition similar to MS and Lyme Disease, in which the immune system attacks the nerves. GBS is a known side-effect of Campylobacteriosis; one in every one thousand patients diagnosed with a Campylobacter infection also develops Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Stop Foodborne Illness stands with individuals like Mary whose quality of life has been permanently altered—or lost—because of food poisoning.
As the voice of people affected by foodborne illness, we collaborate with partners in academia, the food industry, and government to prevent foodborne illness. We advocate for effective food safety policy and facilitate culture change to increase food safety.