Symptoms in Older Children and Adults
In older children and adults, right-sided abdominal pain and fever may be the most common symptoms, and may be confused with appendicitis. In a small number of cases, complications can occur, such as:
- Erythema nodosum
- Joint pains
- Spread of bacteria to the bloodstream (known as septicemia).
Septicemia from Yersinia enterocolitica is more common in people with:
- Graves' disease (a common form of hyperthyroidism)
- Cirrhosis (destruction of an organ)
- Hemochromatosis (a metabolic disorder)
- Severe anemia (a deficiency of red blood cells).
In order to make a Yersinia enterocolitica diagnosis, the doctor will ask a number of questions about:
- Recent history of foods or drinks that have been consumed
- Recent travel history
- Current medical conditions
- Recent surgery or transfusions
- Current medicines.
A diagnosis is generally made by detecting the bacteria in the stools. Many laboratories do not routinely test for Yersinia enterocolitica, so it is important to notify the laboratory personnel when infection with this bacterium is suspected so that special tests can be done. The organism can also be recovered from other sites, including:
- Lymph nodes
- Joint fluid
For uncomplicated cases of diarrhea, there is no need for treatment. The illness typically improves on its own; however, in more severe or complicated infections, antibiotics may be used, including: