Dramatic Spike in Infections Caused by Shigella in Kansas City
In late September, it was announced that there have already been 150 confirmed cases of shigellosis in Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City Health Department reports that the area typically sees only about 10 cases in a normal year. The outbreak has prompted health officials to warn local residents to be aware of the situation and to be on the lookout for signs of the illness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Shigellosis is an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. Most who are infected with Shigella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps starting a day or two after they are exposed to the bacteria. Shigellosis usually resolves in 5 to 7 days. Some people who are infected may have no symptoms at all, but may still pass the Shigella bacteria to others.”
Shigella already made national headlines earlier this year when the CDC posted information about a multidrug-resistant intestinal illness that has been occurring throughout the United States. The illness is believed to have been spread by international travelers who have brought back a type of Shigella bacteria that is resistant to the antibiotic ciprofloxacin.
“Shigellosis is a highly infectious disease so in order to stop its spread, it’s vital that people thoroughly wash their hands and that surfaces are not allowed to become contaminated,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Contaminated surfaces in places like restaurants, schools, nursing homes, daycare centers, and prisons can result in outbreaks. Food products can also become contaminated with Shigella and have been associated with numerous outbreaks in the past.”
EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers rapid qPCR testing services and sampling supplies to identify Shigella on surfaces and in food and water samples. These services are instrumental in preventing outbreaks and identifying the source of an outbreak if one has already occurred. EMSL has also sponsored an online video about Shigella and shigellosis from contaminated environments 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 indoor air quality, 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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