Two outbreaks of shigellosis reported in USA

Two outbreaks of shigellosis are being reported in the USA. One outbreak involves 43 cases among the Observant Jewish community in the borough of Brooklyn, New York. The other involves over 1,000 cases in the central portion of the state of Indiana. This number represents a ten-fold increase compared to the same time period last year. Shigella outbreaks may occur cyclically every 3-5 years.

Humans are the only natural reservoir for this disease. Food and water that are contaminated with human waste from infected persons is a common source for the bacteria that cause dysentery (shigellosis). Travellers should always exercise caution and follow strict water and food precautions while travelling. 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.

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