Shigella bacteria are common in the U.S. and around the world. Shigella refers to several different types of bacteria – all of which can cause shigellosis. The Centers for Disease Control reports that approximately 14,000 people are diagnosed with shigellosis in the U.S. each year alone, and many of those people contract the bacteria either through person-to-person contact or by coming in contact or consuming contaminated food.
Most cases of shigellosis do not require intensive medical oversight or hospitalization, as they typically resolve themselves within five to seven days. However, some individuals may suffer severe infections that require antibiotics. In some cases, children under two years old may develop a high fever that leads to seizures.
A small percentage (approximately 1 in 50) of cases of shigellosis caused by shigella flexneri in the U.S. lead to long-term or permanent side effects. Some patients experience months or years of joint pain, eye irritation and even painful urination.
Symptoms of Shigellosis
Shigellosis symptoms are similar to those of other bacterial illnesses. Many people report experiencing abdominal cramping or diarrhea, which is often bloody. Fever is also common. Symptoms usually present themselves within one or two days of initial exposure to the bacteria.
Affected by Shigella?
Shigella is transferred by contact with infected fecal matter. Although cases are often caused by isolated instances of exposure, the infections are occasionally linked to public health outbreaks. For example, infected restaurant employees who fail to use proper hand-washing techniques before handling or preparing food can transfer the bacteria to restaurant patrons.
If you or someone you know has been infected by shigella bacteria as the result of negligent food preparation and handling practices, you may be entitled to compensation. The food borne illness attorneys here at Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, PC are ready to evaluate your shigellosis case and help you find out your legal rights. Call us today to speak with one of our food poisoning lawyers. It costs you nothing to find out if we can help.