Yersiniosis is an infection caused by  Yersinia bacteria. Symptoms appear within 4 to 10 days after infection and include:

  • fever

  • abdominal pain in the lower right part of the abdomen that can be mistaken for appendicitis

  • in the case affecting children, they also can have bloody diarrhoea

Symptoms last up to one to three weeks, but can sometimes last longer.

Key facts

Risk for people 

Although rare, complications such as joint swelling, skin inflammation and sepsis can occur.

How it spreads

Transmission of the disease depends on the bacteria species:

  • Yersinia enterocolitica: Transmitted mainly through consumption of raw or undercooked pork or cross-contamination of other foods during the handling and preparation of raw pork.

  • Yersinia pseudotuberculosis: This type of infection is rarer, but is transmitted to a greater extent by eating contaminated vegetables. 

  • Both type of yersinia can also occasionally occur through contact with infected animals, especially farm animals and pets.

Protective measures

Bacteria survive and grow at low temperatures, so refrigeration is not sufficient to prevent growth, so thorough cooking is necessary. 

Pork should be cooked properly,  and washing and peeling vegetables can reduce contamination and the risk of infection.