Canada: Shigella outbreak reported in Edmonton


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Alberta Health Services (AHS) is notifying the public of the ongoing investigation into an outbreak of shigella disease in the Edmonton area.

Photo / Jean Gagnon

In August of this year, AHS identified a cluster of shigella cases among residents of the inner city of Edmonton.

To date, we have identified 87 people with Shigella, 64 of whom required hospitalization. The first person fell ill on August 17, 2022. No deaths associated with this outbreak have been reported.

Shigella is a disease commonly associated with diarrhea, as well as fever, nausea, and stomach cramps. It can cause severe illness, leading to hospitalization and spread when someone comes into contact with the stool of an infected person and also by eating food contaminated with the bacteria.

AHS has reached out to doctors, shelters and partners within the city to inform them of the situation and offer advice to help reduce the spread of disease while ensuring that anyone who needs medical care gets the care they need.

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A task force led by AHS with representation from the City of Edmonton, Alberta Health, Alberta Community and Social Services, Edmonton District Shelters and other partner organizations has been created with the goal of sharing resources and support to help stop the spread of this bacteria.

The majority of cases so far are within the inner city population, so the risk to the general public remains low. However, we would like to remind people that proper hand hygiene helps prevent the spread of many diseases, including shigella.

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