Yersinia pseudotuberculosis outbreak reported in New Zealand

| October 9, 2014

Salad 1 pic2According to press reports from New Zealand, national and regional public health and food safety authorities are currently investigating a suspected foodborne outbreak of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infection.

The reports state that 101 cases of infection by this unusual pathogen have been confirmed since mid-August, with a further 41 presumptive cases awaiting confirmation. At least 38 people have been admitted to hospital. Most of the reported cases are in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, but other areas around the country are also affected.

The Ministry for Primary Industries is currently investigating the source of the outbreak, but has not yet identified a vehicle of infection. However, it is suspected that contaminated food is involved and some reports suggest that pre-packaged lettuce and carrots may be the culprits, though this has not been confirmed.

Foodborne Yersinia pseudotuberculosis outbreaks are uncommon, but have previously been linked to contaminated water, milk, salad leaves and raw vegetables. Symptoms of infection usually include fever, rashes and severe abdominal pain.

A news media report on this outbreak can be found here.

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Category: News

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