(GoRealNewsNow.com) – REAL NEWS NOW: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning public health officials about a recent surge in stomach infections caused by an antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria.
The agency is monitoring increased cases of shigellosis, an illness that can lead to diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Shigellosis is usually treated without antibiotics, but it can become life-threatening for immunocompromised individuals, such as those with HIV or undergoing chemotherapy.
The strain of bacteria responsible for shigellosis, called shigella, causes approximately 450,000 infections every year. In 2022, the CDC noticed that 5% of shigellosis cases were resistant to five common antibiotics, compared to none in 2015.
This drug-resistant form of shigellosis has been reported in 29 states, with the highest occurrences in California, Massachusetts, and Colorado.
According to Naeemah Logan, a CDC medical officer, these drug-resistant shigella infections are “hard to treat” and easily spread among vulnerable populations.
Historically, shigellosis primarily affected children under the age of four, but the CDC has recently observed a significant increase in shigellosis cases among adults, specifically among men who have sex with men, people experiencing homelessness, travelers, and individuals living with HIV.
The bacteria can spread through direct person-to-person contact and indirectly through contaminated food and water.
The CDC states that a small amount of bacteria is enough to make someone sick and that it can still spread weeks after diarrhea has stopped.
Currently, the CDC has no recommended treatments for the resistant forms of shigellosis.
Logan has emphasized that these infections are a serious public health threat. The CDC wants to ensure that healthcare providers are aware of the increasing potential for antibiotics to fail. The CDC has scheduled a call for February 28 to brief clinicians about the increase in infections and how to manage them.
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Have you or anyone you know been infected with this antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria that causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps? Share your experience by emailing [email protected]. Thank you.