Vermont tracks XDR Shigella outbreak in retirement community

The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) is investigating an outbreak involving an extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Shigella sonnei strain at a retirement community in Wake Robin. The outbreak involves 22 confirmed and 44 probable cases.

Vermont health officials began investigating the outbreak on Oct 18 and alerted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the outbreak on Oct 22. The CDC is assisting Vermont officials with the investigation because of the highly resistant nature of the bacteria.

“Antibiotic resistance means that the bacteria have developed the ability to prevent antibiotics from working. When bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, the treatment we would normally use may not work, and the bacteria can continue to multiply,” said Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, in a VDH press release. “Fortunately, most people who get this will recover in five to seven days without the need for treatment.”

Shigella infections commonly cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fever. Shigella is best prevented by washing hands thoroughly several times per day.

Levine said the most recent onset of illness was Nov 1.

Source: CIDRAP

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