Multidrug-resistant shigellosis spreads through U.S.

Multidrug-resistant shigellosis spreads through US
Multidrug-resistant shigellosis spreads through US | Courtesy of
According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), international travelers have brought a strain of a multidrug-resistant intestinal illness called shigellosis into the U.S. and spread it to the public.

The CDC found the bacteria was spread through international travelers. From May 2014 through February 2015, 243 people in Puerto Rico and 32 states contracted the bacteria. Shigella sonnei is resistant to the antibiotic treatment known as ciprofloxacin.

“These outbreaks show a troubling trend in Shigella infections in the United States,” CDC director Tom Frieden said. “Drug-resistant infections are harder to treat and because Shigella spreads so easily between people, the potential for more – and larger – outbreaks is a real concern. We’re moving quickly to implement a national strategy to curb antibiotic resistance because we can’t take for granted that we’ll always have the drugs we need to fight common infections.”

CDC medical officer and the study's lead author Anna Bowen said the increase in drug-resistant Shigella makes it even more critical to prevent it from spreading. 

“Washing your hands with soap and water is important for everyone," she said. "Also, international travelers can protect themselves by choosing hot foods and drinking only from sealed containers.”

Organizations in this Story

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Get notified the next time we write about U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention!