Yersinia infection - including symptoms, treatment and prevention
Yersinia infection (yersiniosis) is a bacterial infection of the bowel (intestine) usually caused by Yersinia enterocolitica. It occurs worldwide, but is fairly uncommon.
Yersinia infection is a notifiable condition1
How Yersinia infection is spread
Many domesticated and wild animals carry Yersinia in their intestines. Spread to people occurs by eating food or water contaminated by infected human or animal faeces. Contact with infected pets and domestic stock may also cause infection.
Yersinia is able to multiply at temperatures in normal refrigerators, so sometimes if meat is kept without freezing large numbers of the bacteria may be present.
Yersinia is also occasionally transmitted by blood transfusion as it is able to multiply in stored blood products. This is why people are asked not to donate blood if they have had diarrhoea recently.
Signs and symptoms of
Symptoms vary with age and are commonest in young children. They include:
diarrhoea, often bloody in young children
abdominal pain and cramps
symptoms similar to appendicitis in older children and adults
joint pain occurs in half of affected adults.
The diagnosis is usually made by a faecal specimen or by detecting Yersinia using a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test in a pathology laboratory.
(time between becoming infected and developing symptoms)
Symptoms typically develop 4 to 7 days after exposure.
(time during which an infected person can infect others)
Usually 2 to 3 weeks. If not treated with antibiotics, the organism may be shed in the faeces for 2 to 3 months.
anyone with diarrhoea should avoid swimming in pools
babies and small children without diarrhoea who are not toilet trained should wear tight fitting waterproof pants or swimming nappies in swimming pools and changed regularly in the change room. When faecal accidents occur, swimming pools should be properly disinfected.
Use of the information and data contained within this site or these pages is at your sole risk.
If you rely on the information on this site you are responsible for ensuring by independent verification its accuracy, currency or completeness.
This site includes links to other websites operated by community, business and government.
These linked websites will have their own terms and conditions of use and you should familiarise yourself with these.
All linked websites are linked 'as is' and the Government of South Australia:
does not sponsor, endorse or necessarily approve of any material on websites linked from or to this Site;
does not make any warranties or representations regarding the quality, accuracy, merchantability or fitness for purpose of any material on websites linked from or to this Site;
does not make any warranties or representations that material on other websites to which this site is linked does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any person anywhere in the world; and
does not authorise the infringement of any intellectual property rights contained in material in other websites by linking this site to those other websites.
If you use automatic language translation services in connection with this site you do so at your own risk.
The information and data on this site is subject to change without notice. The Government of South Australia may revise this disclaimer at any time by updating this posting.
The Government of South Australia, its agents, instrumentalities, officers and employees:
make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy of the information and data contained on this site
make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy or usefulness of any translation of the information on this site or any linked website into another language
make no representations as to the availability of the site and the availability of websites linked from or to the site
accept no liability however arising for any loss resulting from the use of the site and any information and data or reliance placed on it (including translated information and data)
make no representations, either expressed or implied, as to the suitability of the said information and data for any particular purpose
accepts no liability for any interference with or damage to a user's computer, software or data occurring in connection with or relating to this Site or its use or any website linked to this site
do not represent or warrant that applications or payments initiated through this site will in fact be received or made to the intended recipient. Users are advised to confirm the application or payment by other means.