About the disease
Yersiniosis is an infection, which a person contracts when eating meat. According to KidsHealth, this condition is not common and is usually contracted through undercooked or raw meat. It can also be passed through contaminated water or milk in some cases.
Yersiniosis mostly develops when a person consumed meat or drinks water that contains Yersinia bacteria. In most cases this condition is harmless and resolves on its own after a few days of contraction. It may go away without a person needing any treatment. In rare cases a person does need to take antibiotics to kill the parasites and make them exit the gastrointestinal tract.
In most cases bacteria causing yersiniosis thrives in colder temperatures, that`s why the risk of contracting it higher during winter time. In most cases yersiniosis starts to manifest itself approximately 4 days after contracting the bacteria. In severe cases yersiniosis can manifest itself for 3 weeks. The most common manifestations are abdominal discomfort and nausea. In its symptoms yersiniosis is similar to indigestion. In severe cases a person may have diarrhea and blood in their stool. In older children who contract the bacteria the symptoms of yersiniosis can be similar to appendicitis, although not so acute and the pain is not so sharp. In general, yersiniosis can develop in any person of any age group or ethnicity. Contact with contaminated food or water is the main factor which contributes to development of this condition and symptoms of yersiniosis greatly vary on the amount of contaminated food or water and is proportional to the number of parasites a person has in his/her gastrointestinal tract.
- Abdominal discomfort
- Pain in the stomach
- Blood in the stool in severe cases
- Diarrhea in severe cases
- During a general examination, the doctor will palpate the stomach of a patient to determine the exact location of pain. A doctor then will ask about dietary habits of a person to determine if he/she had undercooked or raw meat or drank unpasteurized milk. A doctor will then ask if a person had diarrhea or nausea.
- A stool test can determine if a person has parasites in his/her large intestine.
- A blood test can also trace the signs of an infection.
- An ultrasound of gastrointestinal tract can be sometimes used to determine if stomach and intestines function normally.
- Conservative treatment uses special antibiotics to alleviate the infection and also make the parasites exit the body. Children with yersiniosis may need in some cases to be hospitalized for several days if there is danger of bacteremia, a more serious infection. Changing the diet and following simple rules of hygiene will help to prevent yersiniosis in future.