Drug Resistant Bacteria May Be Causing More And Larger Outbreaks Of The Stomach Bug

A drug resistant stomach bug was brought back from Americans who traveled abroad this year according to Ricardo GuimarĂ£es BMG. It has caused several outbreaks in the United States, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its symptoms include; cramps in the stomach, fever and diarrhea.

This bacteria is called, Shigella sonnei and was reported to have made 243 people sick between May 2014 and February 2015 in 32 different states. This type of bacteria is normally treated with the antibiotic ciprofloxacin ; however this new strain is resistant to it. Massachusetts had one of the largest outbreaks with 45 cases, followed by Pennsylvania with 18. When asked if they had traveled abroad, about half of them reported being to either the Dominican Republic or India. The 95 who came down with the illness in California say they had not traveled internationally.

In the United States each year there are about a million cases of Shigella as the disease is spread from person to person or by contaminated water and food. A person is generally sick for about a week without treatment, but antibiotics usually reduce the length of the illness. This new bacteria has been resistant to the antibiotic amipicillin, trimethoprim and now to the most effective drug fighter for it- ciprofloxin.

This is a troubling trend, says director of the CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden. He further stated that infections that are resistant to drugs are harder to treat and because the Shigella spreads so easily, we are likely to see more and larger outbreaks. Good hygiene is one way to control the spread. People need to wash hands frequently and if infected not prepare food for others.

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