ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Nasty Infectious Diseases You Want To Avoid - Yersiniosis

Updated on December 31, 2008


This is a common but underreported food-borne illness that was first recognized in the United States in 1976, where it was traced to tainted chocolate milk. Infants and children are the most common victims; children with abnormally high iron levels in their blood are particularly susceptible. While it can occur at any time, most cases appear during the winter in North America.


Cause - The disease is caused by eating tainted food or touching sick pets or contaminated people. The illness is caused by two species of rod-shaped bacteria, yersinia enterocolitica and yersinia pseudotuberculosis both of which are related to yersinia pestis (the bacterium that causes human plague). All three belong to the family Enterobacteriacae (which also includes salmonella). The bacteria is found in swine and swine waste, cows, cats, dogs, (especially those from animal shelters), poultry, shellfish, ice cream, fruit, and vegetables, but most outbreaks are traced to chocolate milk, milk, mussels, oysters, tofu, pork, and contaminated water. Because the bacteria can grow even when refrigerated, high-risk foods include undercooked pork, beef that has been vacuum packed or fresh packed, unpasteurized milk, and cheese. Outbreaks are fairly common among day care centers. Infected pups and kittens can infect small children. The water from untreated wells, lakes, rivers, and streams may also be a source for the disease.


Symptoms - High fever (up to 104 degrees F), nausea and vomiting, bloody or mucousy diarrhea, abdominal pain (similar to appendicitis pain). It is often misdiagnosed as appendicitis. Children may be quite ill and may also suffer headache, sore throat, and loss of appetite. Symptoms usually last up to 10 days, although some children may be ill for a month. It is almost never fatal, however. Some women experience a skin rash on the front of the legs, together with painful legs. The bacteria may remain in the stool for up to three months afterward.


Diagnosis - Stool culture is the best test, although it is not easy to diagnose. Blood tests may detect antibodies a few weeks after the illness appears.


Complications - Bone infection, bloodstream infection, and meningitis may follow yersinosis, but these are rare except in the very old or those with weakened immune systems.


Treatment - Antibiotics are effective and should be taken up to seven days; serious illness may require hospitalization with intravenous medication. Analysis of stool samples can determine which antibiotic to use.


Prevention - If yersiniosis is suspected, contact the health department with details. Anyone with these symptoms at a child care center should see if others have a similar illness and it has been found in actual practice that a comprehensive and thorough investigation may be needed if there are many ill children. In order to avoid contracting the disease, it is advisable to stay away from drinking raw milk and improperly treated water from any source, but especially surface water. It is imperative to implement extremely rigorous precautions when handling meat products in order to prevent the potential cross contamination from raw foods to cooked or ready-to-eat foods. Food contact surfaces and hands must be meticulously sanitized before and after food preparation.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)