Health Dept. Finds ‘Patient Zero’ in Shigella Outbreak

AP Photo

The Santa Clara Health Department has narrowed down the search for the source of a shigella (shigellosis) outbreak that sickened nearly 200 people who dined at a San Jose Mexican seafood restaurant between October 16 and 17.

“It’s quite likely that will never be able to exactly pinpoint the person who was the source of the outbreak, although we do believe that one of the food handlers in the restaurant was the source for the shigella,” Dr. George Han with the Santa Clara Health Department told local KSBW News.

The incident took place at Marisco’s #3  and one of the employees tested positive for shigella although, they do not believe that person is the source of the outbreak, as they were also infected by eating the same food that sickened the others.

KSBW notes that the person who did contaminate the food has not yet been found.

Three lawsuits have been filed against the owners of the restaurant so far. More lawsuits are reportedly expected.

Shigella symptoms include extreme abdominal pain, high fever, nausea, vomiting, and watery stool. In some cases blood, mucus or pus might be present in the stool.

Signs and symptoms of this highly-contagious bacterial infection could start as early as the day of contact.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.