(Photo credits: http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_28995979/update-dozens-sickened-12-intensive-care-after-eating; KGO ABC 7 News.)
What is Shigella?
Shigellosis is an infection caused by Shigella bacteria. Symptoms usually appear within 1-2 days after infection.
How Bad Is It?
How Does It Spread?
- Direct contact with an infected person. This is the most common way it is spread.
- Unsanitary food handling (indirect contact) by an infected person.
- Imported produce that may be contaminated with polluted water.
How is It Treated?
Diarrhea can cause dehydration, which can be treated with fluids. Serious cases may require additional medical treatment such as antibiotics.
Why Should I Worry About It?
Shigella is prevalent, causing about 500,000 cases annually in the U.S.
Shigella bacteria are also developing resistance to many common antibiotics, which makes the condition harder to treat and more likely to spread.
What Can I Do About It?
Shigella victim Greg Meissner filed a lawsuit against the restaurant. Given the number of people infected, more will likely follow.
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The EPA has only tested for glyphosate in one year, 2011. Although most soybean samples tested contained residues, all were below the exposure limit. However, exposure to glyphosate occurs from a wide variety of products, so some consumers are concerned even about what appear to be relatively low levels, such as the 0.12 ppm found in the kids’ cereal, Froot Loops, and the .05 ppm found in organic honey.
Given the pervasive application of Roundup to non-organic crops and recent research supporting the hypothesis that glyphosate increases antibiotic resistance, testing for residues is a good first step.
Cargill recently initiated a Class I recall of almost 36 million pounds of ground turkey due to potential contamination from a multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg that allegedly caused 76 illnesses and one death. Consumer concern about antibiotic-resistant bacteria in meat was increasing even before this outbreak.
A recently-discovered additive may reduce the prevalence and risk of this contamination. Scientists at the University of Minnesota have recently discovered a naturally-occurring lantibiotic that attacks E. coli, salmonella, and listeria. It is reportedly “easily digestible, non-toxic, non-allergenic” and “difficult for bacteria to develop resistance against.” They expect to commercialize the additive within the next three years.