, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 2-5
Date: 21 Sep 2013

Surgical aspects of an outbreak of Yersinia enterocolitis

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Eleven patients with Yersinia enterocolitica infections were identified in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont during October and November of 1995. Three children presented with an appendicitis-like picture. Two underwent appendectomy, one of whom was the outbreak’s index case. Both appendectomy patients presented with lower abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, and a right lower quadrant mass associated with leukocytosis. Both had terminal ileitis, and in both, cultures of peritoneal fluid and a mesenteric lymph node grew Y. enterocolitica. Even during an outbreak there is no consistently reliable nonoperative way to separate a sporadic case of appendicitis from one whose appendicitis-like symptoms are due to Yersinia. In addition, a small percentage of Yersinia patients will present with true appendicitis as a complication of their disease.