By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Norway’s Institute of Public Health reports investigating an increased incidence of the gastrointestinal bacterium, Yersinia enterocolitica O3.

The infection has been detected in 14 people living in several counties.

The patients are between 2 and 57 years old and most are women. The infected are residents of Agder (4), Oslo (4), Rogaland (3), Trøndelag (2) and Viken (1) counties.

Bacteria with similar DNA profiles have been detected in all 14 individuals and all samples were taken during the last two weeks of May and the first week of June.

The Public Health Institute collaborates with the municipal health service, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Veterinary Institute to identify whether the patients can have a common source of infection. Patients are interviewed and local food inspection takes samples of food products in the homes of those infected to find the source of the outbreak if possible. These tests are analyzed at the Veterinary Institute, says doctor Hilde Marie Lund at the Department of Infection Protection and Emergency Preparedness at FHI.

Yersiniosis is an infection caused by the bacterium Yersinia enterocolitica.

Yersinia bacteria transmit mainly through food, usually via infected pork products, contaminated vegetables or lettuce and the use of non-disinfected drinking water.

Each year, between 40 and 80 cases of yeriniosis are usually reported to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Most are infected domestically (60-80 per cent of cases reported).