By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health reports 15 people with infection caused by the bacterium Yersinia enterocolitica O3. All are sampled in late April and early May.
The patients are between 16 and 54 years old and most (66 per cent) are women. The infected live in different parts of the country: Viken (3), Trøndelag (5), Rogaland (2), Vestland (3), Møre og Romsdal (1) and Vestfold and Telemark (1).
Bacteria with the same DNA profile have been detected in all fifteen people.
The patients are interviewed and the local Norwegian Food Safety Authority takes samples from food products in the homes of those who are infected, if residues are available, in order to find the source of the outbreak if possible. Such investigative work can be complicated and time consuming, and in many cases it will not be possible to find the source of the infection or to clarify whether it is a common source.
Yersiniosis is an infection caused by the bacterium Yersinia enterocolitica. The most common symptoms are diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain, usually lasting 1-3 weeks. The reservoir for the bacterium is primarily pig. Dogs and cats can also be carriers of the bacterium.
Yersinia bacteria are transmitted mainly through food, usually through infected pork products, contaminated vegetables or salads and the use of non-disinfected drinking water.
Every year, between 40 and 80 cases of yersiniosis are reported to the National Institute of Public Health. Most are infected domestically (60-80 percent of reported cases).
Investigation work can be complicated and time consuming, and in many cases it will not be possible to find the source of the infection or to clarify whether it is a common source, says Heidi Lange.
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