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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Shigella Outbreak Growing in New York

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Florida sees spike in Shigella too.

James Mulder of the Syracuse Post-Standard reported to today that the Onondaga County Shigella outbreak has increased to 21 confirmed cases and 13 probable cases.  This is up nine from last week.

Dr. Cynthia Morrow, the county’s health commissioner, said her department has not yet pinpointed the source of the outbreak.

Many of those infected developed fever, painful bloody or mucous diarrhea and stomach cramps a day or two after being exposed to the bacteria, called Shigella. The illness usually clears up in five to seven days. Severe cases need to be treated with antibiotics.

About half of those infected are children under age 10, Morrow said.

The bacteria are present in the stool of the infected person. It can be spread to someone else if an infected person does not wash his or her hands before handling food and touching other people.

Morrow said her investigators suspect the infection is being spread through a combination of contaminated food and person-to-person transmission.

People with symptoms should contact their health providers and keep track of what they ate in the four days before becoming ill, Morrow said.

I have seen a few of these outbreaks over the last decade:

Also, according to the Santa Rosa Florida Health Department, cases of Shigellosis are on the rise. The health department has been receiving reports of one or two cases almost on a daily basis and most are in small family clusters and in-home daycare facilities.

  • It’s good to have your resources. Everyone should do precautionary measures mentioned above so to decrease the rate of people being infected by the outbreak.