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Health Information For Parents
Yersiniosis is a relatively uncommon infection contracted through the consumption of undercooked meat products (especially pork), unpasteurized milk, or contaminated water.
Usually, someone with an infection caused by Yersinia bacteria recovers within a few days without medical treatment (in some cases, doctors prescribe antibiotics).
Of the three main types of yersiniosis that affect people, Yersinia enterocolitica (bacteria that thrive in cooler temperatures) are responsible for most infections in the United States. The infection seems to be more common in cooler climates.
The bacteria can infect the digestive tracts of humans, cats, dogs, pigs, cattle, and goats. People can contract it by eating or handling contaminated foods (such as raw or undercooked meat) or by drinking untreated water or unpasteurized milk that contain the bacteria.
An infant can be infected if a parent or caretaker handles contaminated food without cleaning up adequately before handling the baby’s toys, bottles, or pacifiers.
Symptoms of yersiniosis appear 4–7 days after exposure and can last up to 3 weeks. They include fever, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Sometimes, older kids also get pain in the lower right side of the abdomen, which can mimic appendicitis. Some people also have a sore throat along with other symptoms.
If your child has these symptoms, call your doctor. For infants, it’s particularly important to call the doctor as soon as symptoms appear to prevent the infection from leading to other health problems.
In rare cases, the infection can cause a skin rash called erythema nodosum, or joint pain that appears a month after the initial symptoms. The rash usually appears on the legs and trunk. The joint pain is usually in the larger joints and is thought to be due to an immune system response. These symptoms usually go away with time but can last several months.
The diagnosis of Yersinia can be confirmed with a stool culture. If the Yersinia infection leads to an infection of the blood, known as bacteremia, it can be confirmed with a blood culture.
Diarrhea caused by yersiniosis generally goes away on its own, though in some cases antibiotics are prescribed. In infants, however — particularly those who are 3 months old or younger — it can develop into bacteremia. Infants who contract yersiniosis are usually treated in a hospital.
Depending on the severity of the diarrhea, your doctor may suggest modifying your child’s diet for 1 or 2 days and encouraging your child to drink more fluids (which may include drinks with electrolytes to replace body fluids quickly).
If your child has frequent bouts of diarrhea, watch for signs of dehydration, including:
To reduce the risk of yersiniosis, take these precautions:
Call your doctor if your child:
With some rest, kids with yersiniosis usually make a full recovery quickly.
If you’re feeling crummy, it’s probably because nasty bacteria or some other germs have gotten into your body and made you sick.
Undercooked burgers and unwashed produce are among the foods that can harbor E. coli bacteria and lead to infection marked by severe diarrhea. Here’s how to protect your family.
Washing your hands is the best way to stop germs from spreading. Learn all about the best way to wash your hands in this article for kids.
Cooking and baking are lots of fun – as long as you stay safe. Read this article for safety tips before you head into the kitchen.
A stool culture helps doctors determine if there’s a bacterial infection in the intestines.
Your child’s doctor may order a stool collection test to check for blood, bacteria, ova, or parasites. Find out how this test is performed and when you can expect the results.
Did you know that the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands? If you don’t wash your hands frequently, you can pick up germs from other sources and then infect yourself.
Why is food safety important? And how can you be sure your kitchen and the foods you prepare in it are safe?
These bacterial infections can cause diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever. Good hand-washing and food safety habits can help prevent them.
Shigella are bacteria that can infect the digestive tract and cause a wide range of symptoms, from diarrhea, cramping, vomiting, and nausea, to more serious complications and illnesses.
Salmonellosis is a foodborne illness caused by the bacteria salmonella. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, and headache.
Learn why food safety is important and how you can avoid the spread of bacteria when you are buying, preparing, and storing food.
Undercooked burgers and unwashed produce are among the foods that can harbor E. coli bacteria and lead to infection and severe diarrhea. Here’s how to protect yourself.
Germs are tiny organisms that can cause disease – and they’re so small that they can creep into your system without you noticing. Find out how to protect yourself.
The germs that get into food and cause food poisoning are tiny, but can have a powerful effect on the body. Find out what to do if you get food poisoning – and how to prevent it.
Sometimes, germs can get into food and cause food poisoning. Find out what to do if your child gets food poisoning – and how to prevent it.
Did you ever eat something that made you feel ooky? It might have been food poisoning.
Germs are the microscopic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that can cause disease.
Nearly everybody gets diarrhea every once in a while, and it’s usually caused by gastrointestinal infections. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Read this article to learn more.
Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating contaminated food. It mostly affects pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. Here’s how to protect your family.
People often think of salmonellosis as food poisoning, but food is only one way the bacteria Salmonella can be spread.
Salmonellosis is an illness caused by a bacteria found in raw food, soil, water and the bowel movements of some animals, including reptiles. Find out how to prevent this illness.
Fevers happen when the body’s internal “thermostat” raises the body temperature above normal. This is often the body’s way of fighting infections.
You know they can hurt you, but what are these invisible creatures? Find out in this article for kids.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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