Concerns Rise with Shigella Outbreak in Homeless Groups

Visual Representation for Shigella Bacteria | Credits: Getty Images
Visual Representation for Shigella Bacteria | Credits: Getty Images

United States: The Santa Clara County Public Health Office provided information on the current extent of the epidemic as well as guidelines about the illnesses.

Homeless Community Impact

Ten “individuals experiencing homelessness in Santa Clara County” have tested positive with shigella, and 22 more people are probable cases, according to the Public Health Office.

Guadalupe River Connection to Epidemic

According to officials, the epidemic is centered on the homeless community in the area and is connected to the Guadalupe River flowing downstream from Highway 85.

In its guidelines, the Public Health Office advised “those who do come in contact to wash with soap and water before eating or touching their face and to avoid swallowing the water.”

It stated, “Partner organization workers who may come into contact with river water in the vicinity of the encampments have been advised to wear personal protective equipment.”

Prevention Measures

Shigella bacteria can produce a range of symptoms, such as fever, stomach aches, and bloody diarrhea. They are often found in feces.

Sharing drinking utensils, engaging in sexual activity, and tending to the ill can all transmit the virus.

Dehydration poses a serious concern to those with shigella bacteria infections (shigellosis). Those who are infected are advised to stay hydrated as much as possible throughout their sickness.