Yersiniosis: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Yersiniosis (say "yer-sin-ee-OH-sus") is a type of a food-borne illness. It causes problems in your intestines. You can get it from bacteria in raw or undercooked pork. You can also get it from contaminated water or from milk that was not pasteurized.

Yersiniosis can cause diarrhea that may be bloody. It can also cause a fever and belly pain. These symptoms may last 1 to 3 weeks or more. They usually go away on their own.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water. Choose water and other caffeine-free clear liquids until you feel better. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.
  • Eat small amounts of mild, low-fat foods. Try foods like rice, dry crackers, bananas, and applesauce. Avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and coffee for 2 days after your symptoms are gone. Avoid dairy products for 3 days after your symptoms are gone.

To help prevent yersiniosis

  • Don't eat raw or undercooked meat, especially pork.
  • Use only pasteurized milk and milk products. Check labels for the word "pasteurized."
  • When you prepare food, wash your hands often with hot, soapy water. This is very important if you touch raw pork intestines (chitterlings or "chitlins") and other types of raw meat.
  • Use one cutting board for raw meat only. Use a different cutting board for other types of food.
  • Wash cooking utensils, cutting boards, dishes, and counters with hot, soapy water right after they come into contact with raw meat. Do not put cooked meat back on a plate that had raw meat on it. You must thoroughly wash the plate first.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or more belly pain.
  • You have symptoms of dehydration, such as:
    • Dry eyes and a dry mouth.
    • Passing only a little dark urine.
    • Feeling thirstier than normal.
  • You cannot keep down fluids.
  • You have new or more blood in your stools.
  • You have a new or higher fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You are not getting better after 2 days (48 hours).

Where can you learn more?

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Current as of: May 24, 2016

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Leslie Tengelsen, PhD, DVM -