What is yersiniosis?
Yersiniosis is a bacterial foodborne disease that occurs most often in children and teenagers. Symptoms usually appear 24 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food, though they may not show up for three to seven days. The illness usually lasts 2 or 3 days.
Symptoms include a sharp pain in the lower right part of the abdomen, watery diarrhea, and fever.
How is yersiniosis spread?
Yersinia enterocolitica is found in the intestinal tracts and feces of wild and domestic animals, and in wells, lakes, and rivers contaminated with feces.
Yersininosis spreads from person-to-person or from animal-to-person if proper sanitation habits are not practiced. Yersinia enterocolitica, along with a few other bacteria that cause foodborne diseases, has the ability to grow at refrigerated temperatures.
The bacterium is easily destroyed at temperatures above 60°C (140°F).
How is yersiniosis prevented?
- Wash your hands properly after using the toilet, handling pets, or prior to food handling and eating.
- Drink only pasteurized milk.
- Ensure proper disposal of human, dog, and cat feces.
- Protect water supplies from animal and human feces.
- Only drink water from a safe source; never drink untreated surface water from lakes, streams, and rivers.
- Ensure foods reach temperatures above 74°C (165°F) when reheating leftovers.