Increased number of shigellosis cases in San Francisco, USA

This month, there have been 65 cases of shigellosis in San Franciscans. This represents a significant increase over the usual 5-10 cases diagnosed each month. Many of the cases have occurred among homeless people who live in crowded conditions and without access to running water and sanitation facilities.

While the risk for the general traveller is low, travellers should be aware that food and water that are contaminated with human waste from infected persons is a common source for the bacteria that cause dysentery (shigellosis). Transmission from person to person occurs due to poor personal hygiene.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Shigellosis.