Close to 200 Sickened From Outbreak of Shigella in San FranciscoDaniel McCarthy (Author) Published Date : Oct 29, 2015 12:49 IST
Close to 200 people were sickened in San Francisco and the surrounding area by Shigella a highly contagious bacteria that causes intestinal disease, since an outbreak started 10 days ago at a local Mexican seafood restaurants, said health officials on Monday.
This outbreak, which started October 16 in San Jose at the restaurant Mariscos San Juan No. 3 has spread through six counties and infected more than 180 people as of Friday of last week, said the Public Health Department of Santa Clara Country in a prepared statement.
Health officials said the transmission typically takes place when fecal matter comes into contact with the mouth, possibly when a food handler who is infected prepares meals eaten by unwitting diners.
Public health officials added that an investigation into all possible sources of contamination is being conducted.
Shigella infections could trigger a watery or even bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and other uncomfortable symptoms, said the health department.
The bacteria are very contagious, said officials urging that people who were sick avoid working or going to school.
Thus far, there have been two lawsuits filed over this outbreak as of Friday of last week. The restaurant, which since October 18 has been shuttered, is cooperating fully with the investigation by the health department.
The owners of the restaurant were not able to be reached to make a comment during the day on Monday.
The elderly, young children and individuals who are HIV-positive are more apt to suffer symptoms that are more severe, according to health officials.
Shigella bacteria are responsible for causing over a half a million cases of diarrhea each year in the United States, according to officials at the U.S. Center for Disease Control.
It is still unknown the exact cause of the outbreak, but health officials said they would release their findings as soon as they became available.
Close to 200 Sickened From Outbreak of Shigella in San Francisco