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Multi-country (Europe & USA) Shigella sonnei outbreak linked to travel to Cape Verde

3 weeks ago

United States

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has announced a multi-country Shigella sonnei outbreak involving the United States and many countries in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA). The outbreak began in September 2022 and has continued to evolve rapidly during November and December 2022.

As of February 16th, 2023, 10 EU/EEA countries and the UK reported and the US reported 221 confirmed Shigella sonnei infections and 37 possible cases linked to travel to Cape Verde, in the image below you can find more details. While the exact source of the outbreak has not been identified, investigations are ongoing in Cabo Verde. It is believed that the infection was spread through food, including through infected food handlers, as well as through person-to-person contact.

The strain of Shigella involved in the outbreak is resistant to trimethoprim and streptomycin, and in some cases, multidrug resistance has been detected. Many cases have been linked to all-inclusive hotels located in the region of Santa Maria on the island of Sal. The most recent cases were reported in Sweden on 19 January 2023.

In response to the outbreak, ECDC is urging public health authorities in the EU/EEA to increase awareness among healthcare professionals and is working with the World Health Organization to support investigations in Cabo Verde. To prevent further spread of the infection, ECDC is recommending that people practice good handwashing with soap and water and take additional care with food and drink when traveling abroad. People with shigellosis should not attend school, handle food, or provide care for children or patients while ill.

In case you are experiencing Shigellosis symptoms such as watery diarrhea (often bloody), vomiting; stomach pain; and fever, it is important to report it. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.



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