A high school science teacher of St. Peter’s College in New Zealand was funded by the Business, Innovation and Employment Ministry for teachers for his research regarding campylobacter as endemic in New Zealand.
Matthew Balm from Palmerston North wants to study the origin of a strain of campylobacter, specifically C. aotearoa. This strain of campylobacter is believed to be coming from native birds in New Zealand like water rails, pukeko, weka, and takahe. Mr. Balm collected wastes of the enumerated native birds for samples of campylobacter.
Mr. Balm taught about laboratory biotechnology processes before working on a topic involving campylobacter where he applied his teachings.
The science teacher wanted to study the origin of the bacteria campylobacter to help public health sectors in his country. A lot of people believe that New Zealand is prone to campylobacter bacteria, which is the main source of diarrhea and stomach illnesses.
Mr. Balm’s research will particularly focus on the waterway toileting habits of the native birds that are carriers of the campylobacter bacteria. His study aims to show and prove whether the waterway toileting method of the birds affect the transmission of campylobacter to infect people in New Zealand.
Other people and agencies that support Mr. Balm in his research regarding native birds of New Zealand as host of campylobacter are scientists working at the Epilab of Massey’s Hopkirk Institute and Royal Society of New Zealand. The latter even awarded Mr. Balm with Science, Mathematics, and Technology Teacher Fellowships.
Officials in South Dakota (S.D) alerted the public of the presence of campylobacter bacteria found in raw milk that were sold in and various stores in Black Hills, Belle Fourche, S.D., particularly in Spearfish and Rapid City. The public was advised not to use them and immediately return to the stores the raw milk found positive with campylobacter.
Campylobacter is found to be the main cause of diarrhea in the United States beating Salmonella and Shigella bacteria. Just 500 organisms of Campylobacter or a drop of juice from raw meat can already infect children and adults. Symptoms of the illness caused by campylobacter are fever, abdominal pain, nauseam headache, and muscle pain. Campylobacter diseases do not usually need treatment but can they can lead to severe cases where antibiotics are already necessary. Campylobacter can also lead to lead to other illnesses like arthritis and Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is a neurological disorder.
Raw or undercooked meat, dirty poultry packaging, and waste of dogs and cats are the usual sources of campylobacter.
The public is now being informed of various ways to prevent infections caused by campylobacter. Included in the list to avoid campylobacter are proper handling and storage of poultry products and raw meat. Proper cooking of chicken and meat at high temperature and proper preparation of food were also stressed. Proper washing of hands with soap and water before and after food preparation and after playing with pets are also helpful ways to avoid campylobacter.