January 24, 2020

Texas Shigellosis Outbreak in Stockton and Pecos County Sickens 27

A Texas Shigellosis outbreak in Stockton and Pecos County has sickened at least 27 people, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. This bacteria causes a diarrheal illness, and is spread through consuming contaminated food and water, as well as person-to-person and through contact with contaminated water. Late last month Brazoria County announced that there is a shigellosis outbreak in that county in Texas.

Texas Shigellosis Outbreak in Stockton and Pecos County Sickens 27

The first illness onset date was in October. Three patients have been hospitalized because they are so sick. No single source of the Shigella bacteria has been identified by government officials at this time.

Symptoms of shigellosis can also include fever, vomiting, nausea, and stomach cramps. Some people may feel the need to evacuate their bowels even when they are empty. Symptoms usually begin a day or two after exposure to the pathogen, and most people are sick for about a week.

Some people who have a specific genetic makeup may develop reactive arthritis after a shigellosis infection. Reactive arthritis can cause joint pain, eye irritation, and painful urination and can last for months or years.

Anyone who has been experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor; they may be part of this Texas shigellosis outbreak. It’s important that anyone diagnosed with this illness stay home from work or school until they are symptom free for at least 24 hours because it is so contagious. Some people may suffer with these symptoms for months.

The best way to stop the spread of this illness is to stay home if you have a diarrheal illness. Thorough handwashing with soap and water after using the bathroom, taking care of someone who is sick, and before preparing or serving food to others are other good ways to prevent this and other infections. Also wash your hand thoroughly after cleaning areas where pets and livestock live.

 

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