SAN JOSE, California, October 22 – California Health officials are looking into a potential outbreak of shigellosis, a contagious infection which has struck 93 people.
The Santa Clara Public Health Department claims that most of the hospitalized people have eaten at the Mariscos San Juan restaurant located at 205 N. Fourth St., San Juan. The Mexican restaurant has been closed since Sunday morning, however, it has 2 other locations – on Senter Rd. near Kelley Park and on Willow St. near state Highway 87. It is believed that the bacteria could have spread when a food handler didn’t wash his or her hands after using the bathroom.
Two separate lawsuits were filed against Sergio Becerra Cruz and Lourdes Garcia Becerra, the restaurant’s owners. The lawsuits allege the two of them were negligent in making and selling food and failed to supervise their employees in preparing the food.
Twenty-four of the ninety-three cases have been lab confirmed, while several people who were infected with shigellosis have been released from the hospital and there is a concern that secondary infections might occur.
The primary symptoms of shigellosis are diarrhea, vomiting, chills, abdominal pain and dizziness.
The Santa Clara Public Health Department urges people who suspect they were infected not to work, especially if they’re food service workers, childcare or healthcare providers, since shigellosis is highly contagious.
The health department stresses the importance of regular hand washing to prevent any potential secondary infections.
Shigellosis is caused by group of bacteria that are similar to salmonella. About half of million people get infected with Shigellosis each year, according to the CDC. Furthermore, the CDC claims that the infection is harder to fight off each year, and is raising awareness on drug-resistant infections.
This outbreak should be a reminder of how proper workplace hygiene is absolutely important in the food service industry.