Other sources are infected household pets and farm animals – especially pigs. Untreated water, or an infected person who handles food, can also spread Yersinia bacteria.
Yersiniosis causes flu-like symptoms, diarrhoea (runny poo), and severe abdominal (stomach) pain. Sometimes joint pains can develop, and in a few people these are severe and disabling.
If you are concerned about yersiniosis, call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or see your doctor or practice nurse.
People become infected when they swallow the Yersinia bacteria.
This can happen:
Yersiniosis is not usually serious, and most people recover quickly without having to see a doctor. If the symptoms are severe, a person may need to go to hospital, particularly if they are very young or elderly and get dehydrated (their body doesn’t have enough fluid to function properly).
Between one to 11 days after contact with the bacteria, flu-like symptoms develop. Diarrhoea then starts, with severe abdominal (stomach) pain. Nausea, vomiting and fever often occur.
Yersinia infection usually lasts for two or three days, but can last for up to three weeks. Sometimes joint pains can develop, and in a few people these are severe and disabling.
Usually extra fluid and rest are recommended if you have yersiniosis. However, a doctor should always be consulted if symptoms are severe.
Don’t donate blood within 3 months of suffering from Yersinia infection as it can be transmitted through blood transfusions.
Don’t work in close contact with infants, the elderly or ill people until you have been symptom-free for 48 hours.
To reduce the risk of spreading yersiniosis:
Look after food carefully:
Yersiniosis is a notifiable disease. This means that health professionals or laboratories will inform us when someone has it. This allows us to monitor the number of people who have the disease and give health professionals advice on how to reduce its spread.
People with yersiniosis who work in jobs where it could be easily spread, such as working with food, or in childcare or health care, will be contacted by us so we can talk to them about how to stop others from getting sick.
Last updated 29.11.2018