December 8, 2019

Brazoria County Shigella Outbreak Sickens Unknown Number in Texas

There is a Brazoria County Shigella outbreak in Texas, according to the Brazoria County Health Department. Shigella is a bacteria found in feces that causes illness similar to other pathogens. The release states that there is “an increased number of Shigella cases in the community over the past two months; particularly in children.”

Brazoria County Shigella Outbreak Sickens Unknown Number in Texas

Symptoms of Shigellosis include abdominal pains and cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea that contains mucus or blood. People contract this infection via the fecal-oral route. That means a person touches contaminated objects then touches the mouth, consuming contaminated food or water, or by contaminated objects touching the mouth. This illness is also spread person-to-person.

The severity of the illness can vary. Some people may only have a mild infection, and others may need to be hospitalized. The pathogen can remain in the stool of people who are infected for up to four weeks after symptoms begin. Symptoms typically last for five to seven days.

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The press release did not say how many people were sickened, or if public health officials suspect any particular food or venue where these people contracted this infection. They also did not mention illness onset dates, the age of the patients sickened, or whether or not anyone has been hospitalized.

Shigellosis outbreaks typically begin in childcare or daycare settings, then spread to the community. Young children are more likely to contract this infection.

To prevent these outbreaks, always use proper hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom, before and after changing diapers, or petting an animal. Anyone who is sick with fever, vomiting, or diarrhea should not attend school, childcare, or engage in any public activities until 24 hours after symptoms have ended. Anyone with this illness should not participate in any water activities until one week after diarrhea has ended.

Shigellosis is a reportable condition. Any diagnosis should be reported to the Brazoria County Health Department within one week. IF you have been experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this Brazoria County Shigella outbreak.

 

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