Imported drug-resistant stomach superbug invading the US, infected over 234 peopleMd Noman Siddique (Author) Published Date : Apr 03, 2015 14:14 ET
Over 234 people have been confirmed ill after contracting the shigella bacteria, a drug-resistant strain of stomach superbug that is currently spreading through the United States after being imported by some unnamed travelers from foreign countries.
This is the first time we ve documented this large an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant (shigella) linked to international travel, said Dr. Anna Bowen of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Starting from last May, over 200 people have been treated at hospitals when the outbreak of the bug started spreading across the States; and health authorities traced the outbreak to some patients that just returned into the country from the Dominican Republic and India among other countries.
The shigella bacteria outbreak has occurred in the US in times past, but this is nearly the first time imported strains would prove very resistant to antibiotic drugs in infected adults. While the current outbreak has spread to 32 US states and Puerto Rico, some of the US states affected are California, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.
While the shigella bacteria is the main culprit behind diarrhea, it spreads after contact with contaminated food and ponds of water, and it could also spread at baby daycare centers if the staffs neglect to properly wash their hands after changing baby diapers.
It is possible to treat shigella with over-the-counter drugs like Pepto-Bismol and Imodium; and antibiotics like ciprofloxacin or Cipro works for adults and azithromycin works well for children. However, contracting shigella can make you ill for a week or two and disrupt your ability to work or carry out normal daily duties, until it is treated and gone.
Imported drug-resistant stomach superbug invading the US, infected over 234 people