Refrigerator disease


Yersiniosis or refrigerator disease is a disease caused by a bacterium called Yersinia.

Although many species of Yersinia are found worldwide, most cases of disease in humans are caused by Yersinia enterocolitica.

Other Yersinia species affecting humans are Y. Pseudotuberculosis, which causes a disease similar to Yersinia enterocolitica, and Y. Pestis, which causes plague.

Yersinia are hardy bacteria that can survive in adverse conditions, such as refrigerators and low-oxygen environments.

The most common source of Yersinia enterocolitica in humans is raw or undercooked pork, and pigs are considered the main carriers of the bacterium.

Other strains of Yersinia have been found in many other animals such as rodents, rabbits, sheep, cattle, horses, dogs and cats.

What are the symptoms?

When infected with the bacteria, those affected show different symptoms depending on their age.

The most common symptoms in children are:

• Fever;
• Abdominal pain;
• Diarrhea that is often bloody;

In older children and mature people, the most characteristic symptoms are:

• Right sided abdominal pain;
• Fever;

Complications such as skin rash, joint pain or the spread of bacteria into the bloodstream may develop in a small number of cases.

Symptoms of bacterial infection usually begin about 3-7 days, usually less than 10 days, after infection and last approximately 1-3 weeks, although they can sometimes last longer.< /p>

If you have several of the signs and symptoms of the disease and may have been exposed to potential sources of the Yersinia bacteria, it is advisable to consult your GP.

Ways the bacterium spreads

Disease is usually associated with consumption of food or water contaminated with Yersinia bacteria or through contact with people or animals that are already infected.

The bacteria live in the intestines of infected people or animals and are excreted in their feces into the environment.

Raw meat from infected animals may be contaminated during slaughter.

If they do not maintain good hand hygiene, especially after using the toilet or handling raw meat, an infected person can contaminate food or objects they touch with bacteria.

A baby or toddler can become infected if a parent or other person who has handled contaminated food does not wash their hands thoroughly before handling or feeding them.< /p>

You can also get infected by:

• Eating food contaminated with the bacteria, especially prepared from raw or semi-raw pork products.
• Ingesting contaminated or mineral water;
• Consuming contaminated unpasteurized milk or products made from it;
• Putting into the mouth an object that has been in contact with feces of infected animals or humans;
• Children can become infected if they put their hand in their mouth, after or during play with infected puppies or kittens;

Refrigerator disease treatment

Most people who have a healthy immune system recover without treatment. Therapy, if needed, is usually supportive.< /p>

For example, people with diarrhea should generally drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. In more severe and complicated cases, treatment with antibiotics is necessary.


The most important preventive measure is good hygiene.

To avoid contamination you should thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before storing them in the refrigerator, as they may become contaminated with infectious bacteria and contaminate other food products.

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