Shigellosis in Fort Stockton and Pesos County Texas: 27 Confirmed Cases
In a news release on December 2, 2019, the Texas Department of State Health Services is requesting that the public heed caution after a confirmed 27 cases of shigellosis in Fort Stockton and Pecos County. Shigellosis is an illness cause by the Shigella bacteria and is spread through the stool of sick people or animals or by ingesting contaminated food or water. This particular outbreak began in October, with the first confirmed patients and since then there have been three people hospitalized due to complications with this bacterial virus.
Shigellosis is a diarrheal illness but can also cause symptoms of vomiting, fever, nausea and stomach cramping. Anybody that is presenting these symptoms is asked to contact their health provider to be tested and receive proper care. Proper hand washing is the best way to prevent this illness from continuing to spread, particularly prior to handling food or after cleaning up after pets or livestock. Other things to remember is to practice safe food handling procedures and steer clear of ingesting untreated water like that in local ponds and lakes. The Texas Department of State Health Services is currently investigating this outbreak of shigellosis as no specific source has been identified.
“Victims of shigellosis,” says National Shigella Attorney Ron Simon, “are sickened through no fault of their own. The Shigella bacteria cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. But is can be very harmful. It usually gets transmitted through the fecal material of a sick person, and in the absence of good personal hygiene, it gets transferred to the food of other people. IN restaurants, cross-contamination is often a play.”