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CDC issues warning about rise in infections of drug-resistant stomach bug

Shigella, which is highly infectious, spreads when infected fecal matter enters the mouth or the nose.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing a warning for a rise in extensively drug-resistant cases of the bacterial infection Shigella. 

"Shigella is a bacteria that has been around for a long time and has symptoms that can cause bloody diarrhea, abdominal pains and a generalized sense of being unwell and fevers, and it can be mild or severe," said Dr. Madeleine Gagnon, pediatrician and chief of staff at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare.

The bacteria causes an estimated 450,000 infections in the United States each year, and according to the CDC, the percentage of infections from drug-resistant strains of the bacteria increased from zero in 2015 to 5% in 2022.

"Who is most at risk are those who may have immunocompromised status or other medical complexities. In my world of pediatrics, we always worry about young children," she said.

While Dr. Gagnon says this latest rise is uncommon, when it comes to staying safe, it's important to know the symptoms and signs of the infection to prevent the spread.

"Being in the hands of an experienced medical facility and providers who know how to treat this are so important," she said.

To learn more about Shigella, visit the link here

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