October 21, 2015 — An outbreak of Shigella at a popular Mexican food restaurant in San Jose, California has sickened at least 80 people.
Many people who were infected with Shigella had to be hospitalized, including 12 who were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), according to a statement (PDF) from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD).
Officials believe the outbreak occurred on Friday (October 16) and Saturday (October 17). Anyone who had sudden onset of diarrhea and fever within 1-2 days of eating at the restaurant should seek medical attention to be tested for Shigella and receive treatment.
County health officials closed Mariscos San Juan restaurant #3 (205 N. 4th Street in San Jose) on Sunday, October 18. They suspect the disease was spread by an infected food-handler, but all all possible sources of contamination are under investigation.
Public Health Director Sara Cody said, “It’s very, very infectious. It doesn’t take much for this bacteria to spread.” Fortunately, she also said it is a “garden variety” strain of Shigella that is treatable with antibiotics.
Shigellosis is an extremely contagious gastrointestinal disease caused by the Shigella bacteria. It is highly-contagious and spreads through the fecal-oral route of transmission.
Symptoms typically include diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, and more. Most healthy adults recover within 5-7 days, although it may be several months before bowel habits return to normal. In rare cases, shigellosis can spread to the blood and cause death.
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