Shigella Infection Alerts Warn the Public of Health Concerns
Last month, the City of St. Louis Department of Health issued a Health Alert after 55 confirmed cases of shigellosis were reported. In March, Miami-Dade County health officials advised residents to take precautionary measures after over 100 confirmed cases of the illness occurred.
Shigellosis is the name of the disease caused by a group of bacteria known as Shigella. Alerts like these happen fairly frequently due to the highly infectious nature of this illness. As few as 10 cells, depending on the age and the condition of the host, can cause illness just 12 to 50 hours after entering the human body. In most circumstance, the bacteria are believed to be transmitted primarily through the fecal-oral route.
Symptoms can include abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and blood, pus or mucus in stools. Shigella is principally a disease of humans and the organism is frequently found in water polluted with human feces. Surfaces can also easily become contaminated in places such as schools, nursing homes, daycare centers, prisons and other locations with crowded conditions. Food products contaminated with Shigella are also a frequent cause of illness and its presence has resulted in numerous product recalls over the years.
“When an outbreak of shigellosis has occurred, testing can help to pinpoint the organism’s source to prevent further illnesses and to assist with cleaning and disinfection procedures,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, testing for Shigella is available through traditional culture techniques as well as qPCR. We also offer testing services to identify numerous other fecal and sanitation indicator organisms.”
EMSL has sponsored an online video about Shigella and shigellosis that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/FI6nC5zZMZc.
To learn more about testing for Shigella or other microbial pathogens and contaminants, please visit www.EMSL.com or www.FoodTestingLab.com for inquires related to food, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of food, environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
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