May 29, 2024

Yakima County Shigella Outbreak Sickens 72 in Washington

A Yakima County Shigella outbreak has sickened at least 72 people in Washington state, according to the Yakima Health District. Officials do not know how people contracted this infection, or how it is being spread. They also do not know if contact with surfaces, or if eating food prepared by someone with a Shigella infection are explanations for this outbreak.

Yakima County Shigella Outbreak Sickens 72 in Washington

The 72 patients have been diagnosed in that county from January 1, 2023, through October 16, 2023. Last year, only 10 cases were diagnosed in the same time period. Public health officials are asking the community to start using preventative measures to reduce the spread of this pathogen as the holiday season approaches.

Shigella is very contagious and spreads easily through person to person contact. You can also contract this infection by touching surfaces or anything that is contaminated with Shigella bacteria, then touching your mouth or eating without washing your hands. Food and drink are also vectors.

There have been two other Shigella outbreaks in this country this year. The first was at the Tamarind Tree restaurant in Seattle, Washington in January 2023. At least 32 people were sickened in that outbreak. And a Shigella outbreak in Los Angeles, California, which may have been at the Westin Bonaventure at 404 South Figueroa Street, sickened at least six people.

Symptoms of a Shigella infection usually start one to two days after infection and last about a week. Most people suffer from diarrhea that can be bloody or last for more than three days, fever, stomach  pain, and feeling the need to defecate even when bowels are empty.

Complications of this infection can include reactive arthritis that can last for months or years, bloodstream infections, seizures, and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which is a type of kidney failure.

To prevent the spread of this infection, if you are sick stay home from work and school until you are well. Always wash your hands with soap and water often and thoroughly, especially before preparing food for others and eating, and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and caring for someone who is sick. Clean and sanitize work areas often, and do not prepare food or share food if you are sick. And do not go swimming.

If you have been experiencing these symptoms and you live in Yakima county, see your doctor. You may be part of this Yakima County Shigella outbreak.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you have been sickened with a food poisoning infection, please contact our experienced attorneys for help with a possible lawsuit at 1-888-377-8900 or text us at 612-261-0856. Our firm represents clients in lawsuits against grocery stores, restaurants, and food processors.

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