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Shigella Bacteria Outbreak Connected to San Jose Restaurant

In a disturbing case of restaurant negligence, nearly 190 people spanning six different counties have suffered from an outbreak of Shigella bacteria according to health officials. The outbreak is believed to have been started at a Mexican seafood restaurant in San Jose.

Health investigators have confirmed 85 of the cases to be caused by the bacteria, with the rest waiting for official laboratory test results. As of now, it appears that nearly all of the cases are connected to Mariscos San Juan, which is located on Fourth Street in San Jose.

The restaurant reportedly served contaminated food on October 16 and 17. Officials further suspect the bacteria was spread through one of the restaurant's food handlers. The test results from restaurant employees will come back sometime this week.

Three Lawsuits Already Filed Against Restaurant

So far, there have reportedly been three lawsuits filed against the owners of Mariscos San Juan. The suits allege that the plaintiffs suffered damages and became ill due to the food served at the restaurant and negligent behavior. The three suits are all seeking a jury trial and demanding unspecified damages to cover medical costs, their loss of wages, emotional distress, and other losses.

What Is Shigella?

Shigella is a bacteria that is closely related to Salmonella, causing similar symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. It is spread through contaminated water, food, or contact with contaminated feces. When the bacteria gets into the intestines, it can release toxins that cause serious irritation.

The symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a week in most cases. While most people fully recover, their bowel behavior can take months to become stabilized again.

In more serious cases, people can develop a condition known as post-infection arthritis from shigellosis. The symptoms can include joint pain, painful urination, and eye irritation once the infection has passed. The condition can last several months, years, or even a lifetime.

Tips for Preventing Shigella Infection

Public health officials have advised local residents and residents of the surrounding counties to exercise extra caution while the outbreak is going on.

In order to help prevent further spreading of shigellosis, you are advised to:

  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Supervise small children after using the restroom / when washing hands
  • Don't prepare food if you are suffering from symptoms at all
  • Thoroughly clean restroom area if someone did suffer symptoms

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