Home Health Outbreak of highly contagious virus devastates homeless encampments, spreads to third state

Outbreak of highly contagious virus devastates homeless encampments, spreads to third state

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Shigella is spread when someone comes into contact with fecal matter through sex, diapers, food, or water.

People living in encampments in San Jose, California, are the latest group to be affected by a highly contagious insect called shigella.

The bacteria, which is spread when someone comes into contact with fecal matter through sex, diapers, food or water, causes bloody diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach pain that can last for weeks.

Santa Clara County health officials confirmed three cases and said 19 others were suspected over a two-week period beginning June 3, including two people who were hospitalized.

“We are really addressing this situation aggressively because of the number of cases and the environment, and making sure this doesn’t spread further,” Monika Roy, health assistant for the Santa Clara County health department, he told ABC 7.

Shigella is spread when someone comes into contact with fecal matter through sex, diapers, food, or water.

The outbreaks are centered in homeless encampments at Columbus and Roosevelt parks in San Jose, but officials said the risk of the bacteria spreading from these areas to other people is low.

A survey found that there are approximately 6,340 homeless people living in San José. Although the actual counts are likely much higher, San José Spotlight reported.

But the problem has been affecting similar areas in both Oregon and Pennsylvania, making California the third state to suffer an outbreak in the past year.

Shigella outbreaks usually only occur in areas with poor access to sinks, toilets, and other hygiene stations, but if you wash your hands and bathe regularly, you are much less likely to become infected.

These camps, however, typically do not have places for people to wash their hands, bathe, or cook. They often do not even have clean water to drink.

As of December 2023, 45 cases of the bacteria were confirmed in Portland, Oregon. Bobby Artale, a homeless man who contracted the virus, said: “It lasted two weeks.” It was uncontrollable diarrhea. Oh, it was horrible.’

Before that, there were 68 confirmed cases between October and November 2023 in Philadelphia, which was more than double the city’s historical rate. Axios reported.

If a person contracts shigella, it usually gets better on its own, although antibiotics are sometimes prescribed in severe cases.

News reports showed encampments at Columbus and Roosevelt parks in California, where outbreaks are centered on

News reports showed encampments at Columbus and Roosevelt parks in California, where outbreaks are centered on

News reports showed encampments at Columbus and Roosevelt parks in California, where outbreaks are centered on

News reports showed encampments at Columbus and Roosevelt parks in California, where outbreaks are centered on

While California county records a few cases of shigella each year, Dr. Roy said the spread is usually contained when an affected individual is quarantined from others.

But it appears this latest outbreak is affecting people who can’t afford the privacy that quarantine requires, making the disease spread more easily.

‘The worrying thing about this outbreak is not the absolute number. We regularly see cases of Shigella,” said Dr. Roy. “What is most worrying is the number that are related to each other.”

Because of this increase, Dr. Roy and other officials have announced that their strategy is to first determine how many people have contracted the bacteria, so they can contain it.

Additionally, since the parks where both campgrounds are located are near bodies of water (Coyote Creek and the Guadalupe River), there is some concern about the possibility of bacteria entering the water supply.

The threat of this is low, and Dr. Roy said efforts by public health officials to provide safe water and sanitation options should eliminate the likelihood that infected people will choose to defecate into the water supply.

Outbreaks in both Pennsylvania and Oregon were eventually contained.

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