March 10, 2018: Seattle Shigella Illnesses Associated With Local Events

Public Health – Seattle & King County (Public Health) has updated its ongoing investigation of Shigella illnesses associated with events held at Temple Beth Am and Temple Beth Shalom in Seattle, WA. According to Public Health, both events were catered by Eric Gorbman Catering with additional potluck style food items brought by attendees.

Help Public Health Officials Determine The Cause Of The Seattle Shigella Illnesses

Public Health has asked event attendees to assist the investigation by completing an online food history survey stating “If you or someone in your family attended an event at Temple Beth Am or at Temple Beth Shalom in Seattle on March 3, 2018, please take a few minutes to complete this survey even if you did not get ill.” Food histories between those who became ill and those who did not become ill will be compared to help heathth investigators determine what may have caused the Seattle Shigella illness and prevent others from becoming sick.

In addition to the investigation, Public Health will work with the venues to further protect the public noting “We have reached out to the venues where the private events were held to advise them on deep cleaning procedures.”

Public Helath – Seattle & King County Provide Advice To The Public

The following advice was provided to the public by Public Health – Seattle & King County:

“If you are currently ill with symptoms such as diarrhea (bloody or non-bloody), fever, and abdominal pain, please contact your health care provider to discuss testing and treatment options. Submitting a stool sample can help confirm if you have shigellosis.

Ill persons with suspected shigellosis should not work in food handling, patient care, or childcare settings, and ill children with suspected shigellosis should not attend daycare until they have seen a healthcare provider and been tested for Shigella infection, even if their illness is mild. Persons with Shigella infection who work in or attend these sensitive settings must be cleared by Public Health before returning.”

At Least 17 Illnesses Have Been Reported As Of March 6, 2018

Public Health reported that at least 15 people became ill with gastroenteritis after consuming food and beverages from the events on March 3, resulting in 1 hospitalization. Laboratory testing has confimred that one of the ill persons was infected with Shigella.

At least 2 catering employees also reported similar illness following the event, “but these employees did not report being ill while working at the event so it is likely that they were exposed at the event rather than the source of the outbreak” reported Public Health.

Protect Yourself From Shigella – Wash Your Hands

The best defense against Shigella infection is good hygiene including thorough hand washing with soap and water.

Shigella infection is diagnosed through laboratory testing that can detect the bacterium in the stool of an infected person. This is referred to as a “stool culture,” and can be ordered by your doctor. These tests are sometimes not performed unless the laboratory is instructed specifically to look for the organism. It is important to discuss with your physician which laboratory tests are being run.

Shigella Lawsuit Information – Call The Weinberg Law Firm

Since 1984, Attorney Eric Weinberg has represented personal injury victims, including those injured in food poisoning outbreaks. If you have a question regarding a Shigella Lawsuit, please call the Personal Injury Lawyers at The Weinberg Law Firm toll free at 877-934-6274. Please see Listeria Lawsuit and Salmonella Lawsuit to learn about our other areas of foodpoisoning litigation.

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