Yersiniosis is a bacterial infection that can cause acute stomach illness. Yersiniosis is caused by infection with Yersinia psedotuberculosis or Yersinia enterocolitica.

Yersiniosis is spread by contact with infected faeces (poos); or eating or drinking contaminated food or water; or contact with contaminated soil or infected animals especially pigs.

If you’ve been infected, it usually takes 5–10 days for the symptoms to develop but can take up to 21 days. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, fever, sometimes diarrhoea, and rash and joint pain appearing 1-3 weeks later.

Yersiniosis is not usually serious, and most people recover quickly. Anyone with diarrhoea should drink extra fluids to avoid dehydration. Children with diarrhoea, or who refuse extra fluids should see a doctor. Anyone with prolonged or severe diarrhoea, or who has symptoms causing concern should see a doctor. A doctor may recommend antibiotics in selected cases.

You can protect yourself and your whanau from contracting Yersiniosis by:

  • Washing fresh fruit and vegetables before eating
  • Avoiding eating raw or undercooked meat
  • Not consuming unpasteurised milk and milk products
  • Proper hand hygiene before eating and preparing food; after handling raw meat; after contact with animals and after going to the toilet or changing nappies

Further information

Yersiniosis | Ministry of Health NZ

Yersinia: symptoms, causes, and prevention | NZ Government (


Yersiniosis Factsheet

Last updated 4 September 2023.