October 28, 2015 — Health officials say an outbreak of Shigella from the Mexican seafood restaurant Mariscos San Juan has sickened nearly 190 people in California.
The Santa Clara County Health Department issued an update (PDF) to report a total of 188 cases, including 150 in Santa Clara County.
A total of 85 cases have been confirmed with laboratory testing, including 20 cases were confirmed in six counties — Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Marin, and Merced counties.
Health officials say at least 11 people in Alameda County, including one child, have confirmed cases of Shigella, ABC News reports. Three of them were hospitalized.
Most of the victims reported eating at Mariscos San Juan #3 located at 205 N. 4th Street in San Jose, California, on Friday October 16th or Saturday October 17th. The restaurant was closed on Sunday.
Two men and one woman from San Jose who were infected by Shigella filed separate lawsuits last week. They accuse the restaurant’s owners of negligence. Shigella spreads through the fecal-oral route and typically causes food poisoning outbreaks when sick food-workers do not wash their hands after using the bathroom.
Health officials warn:
“Shigella is extremely contagious. People with diarrhea must not work, especially food service workers, healthcare providers, and childcare workers. Careful, frequent hand washing is extremely important in preventing the continued spread of the outbreak.”
Infection with Shigella causes a gastrointestinal illness known as shigellosis. The illness usually resolves on its own after 5-7 days, but it can cause life-threatening invasive infections in the bloodstream. Symptoms include diarrhea (sometimes bloody), fever, abdominal pain, and more.
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