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Yersiniosis

Possible Complications

Most cases of yersiniosis are uncomplicated and resolve completely. Occasionally, some people develop joint pain, most commonly in the knees, ankles, or wrists. These pains usually develop about one month after the initial episode of diarrhea, and generally resolve after one to six months. A skin rash, called erythema nodosum, may also appear on the legs and trunk; this is more common in women. In most cases, erythema nodosum resolves spontaneously within a month.
 

Preventing Yersiniosis

Several things can be done to reduce the risk of developing yersiniosis. Suggestions to prevent infection include:
 
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked pork.
     
  • Consume only pasteurized milk or milk products.
     
  • Wash hands with soap and water before eating and preparing food, after contact with animals, and after handling raw meat.
     
  • After handling raw chitterlings, clean hands and fingernails scrupulously with soap and water before touching infants or their toys, bottles, or pacifiers. Someone other than the food handler should care for children while chitterlings are being prepared.
     
  • Prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen:

 

    • Use separate cutting boards for meat and other foods
    • Carefully clean all cutting boards, countertops, and utensils with soap and hot water after preparing raw meat
    • Dispose of animal feces in a sanitary manner.
 

How Common Is It?

Yersiniosis is a relatively infrequent cause of diarrhea and abdominal pain. Children are infected more often than adults, and the infection is more common in the winter.
 
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