Cinnaminson, New Jersey, March 29, 2023
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory to warn of an increase in extensively drug-resistant shigellosis in the United States. The infection is caused by exposure to a type of bacteria known as Shigella.
Shigella is very contagious and exposure to even a tiny amount of contaminated fecal matter can cause infection. Transmission typically occurs when people put something in their mouths or swallow something that has come into contact with the stool of an infected person. Most infected people develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps starting a day or two after they are exposed. Shigellosis usually resolves in five to seven days and some people who are infected may have no symptoms at all, but may still pass the bacteria on to others.
According to the health alert:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been monitoring an increase in extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Shigella infections (shigellosis) reported through national surveillance systems. In 2022, about 5% of Shigella infections reported to CDC were caused by XDR strains, compared with 0% in 2015. Clinicians treating patients infected with XDR strains have limited antimicrobial treatment options. Shigella bacteria are easily transmissible. XDR Shigella strains can spread antimicrobial resistance genes to other enteric bacteria. Given these potentially serious public health concerns, CDC asks healthcare professionals to be vigilant about suspecting and reporting cases of XDR Shigella infection to their local or state health department and educating patients and communities at increased risk about prevention and transmission.
“Because Shigella can be so easily spread, there have been outbreaks in the past connected to places as diverse as healthcare centers, nursing homes, restaurants, water parks, schools and daycare centers,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “To stop its spread, it’s crucial that people thoroughly wash their hands and that surfaces are properly cleaned and disinfected. At EMSL Analytical, we support infection control programs by offering rapid qPCR testing services for Shigella and many other pathogens from surface, water and food samples. These tests help to confirm disinfection efforts are effective and can be used to pinpoint the source of an outbreak if one has already taken place.”
Several years back, EMSL sponsored an educational video about Shigella and shigellosis that can still be seen at: https://youtu.be/FI6nC5zZMZc
To learn more about testing for Shigella or other environmental pathogens and contaminants, please call (800) 220-3675, email info@EMSL.com or visit www.EMSL.com. For inquires related to food, visit www.FoodTestingLab.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOCs, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.