Shigellosis

Exposed to a foodborne illness?

If you suspect you have been exposed to a foodborne illness, please contact the Summit County Health Department at 435-333-1511. We will begin an investigation and try to help prevent the further spread of the illness. Please visit your doctor if necessary.

We do not provide medical services.

Foodborne Illness – Shigellosis

Shigellosis is an infection of the intestines caused by bacteria called Shigella.

Symptoms

Illness usually begins 1 to 4 days after swallowing the bacteria and may last 4 to 7 days. Sometimes people have no or few symptoms. Symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea (may be watery or bloody)
  • Fever
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Severe cases may cause dehydration (loss of fluids) or convulsions (in young children).
How It Is Spread
  • Shigella bacteria leave the body in the stool. If infected people fail to wash their hands well after going to the bathroom, they can pass the bacteria to others from their hands.
  • Spread can occur whether or not the infected person has symptoms.
  • Flies can spread Shigella when they have contact with infected stool and then contaminate drinking water or food.
Diagnosis & Treatment
  • Shigella can be identified from a stool sample.
  • Antibiotics can be prescribed to shorten both the duration of illness and the length of time bacteria are passed in the stool.
  • Sometimes the infection clears without treatment.
Prevention
  • Shigellosis can be prevented by practicing good hygiene and sanitation. Wash hands well with soap and water each time you use the bathroom.
  • Keep your home and surroundings clean to prevent contamination of food and water supply. Pay special attention to the proper disposal of soiled diapers and other human waste.
  • Keep kitchen work surfaces clean.

NOTE: It is important that infected food handlers, child care workers, children attending child care, and patient care providers stay away from their regular activities until they have completed at least 5 days of a proper antibiotic treatment or have had two consecutive shigella negative stool samples.

Contact Us

Environmental Health Division, Summit County Health Department

650 Round Valley Drive, Park City, Utah 84060
Phone: 435-333-1511, Fax: 435-333-1580
summitenviro@summitcounty.org

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