Yersinia enterocolitica outbreaks reported in Finland

news desk @bactiman63

Two outbreaks of Yersinia enterocolitica (YE) serotype O:3 have been reported to the Finnish National Institute of Health and Welfare in the past week.

Map of Finland/CIA

The outbreak is suspected in the Itä-Savo and Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital districts. Additionally, a suspected outbreak has been reported in Pirkanmaa Hospital District, and associated patient populations have not been serotyped.

The suspected period of the epidemic is between February 2 and February 17, 2022 and is estimated at less than 100 people exposed.

More cases in Eastern Savonia than before

In February 2022, five cases of JE from the Itä-Savo hospital district were reported to the infectious disease register, while in 2019-2021, no cases were reported in the hospital district at the corresponding time.

A total of 39 JE cases were reported across Finland in February 2022, which is less than in February 2021, when there were 55 cases. Data on serotypes of YE strains reported to the Communicable Disease Registry are currently not available for THL.

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Local health professionals play a key role in detecting and controlling outbreaks caused by yersinia. The THL does not monitor the presence of yersinia infections over time, and the yersinia strains isolated from patients are not routinely submitted to the THL reference laboratory for typing.

THL asks hospital districts and municipalities to monitor the local situation and report suspected foodborne outbreaks to RYMY.

In addition, the THL requires clinical laboratories to submit patient populations related to outbreaks reported to the RYMY system for entry into the THL, and to include Y. enterocolitica serotype and biotype information, if available, in the communicable disease report and strain reference.

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