The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday issued a health advisory on the rise in antibiotic-resistant strains of Shigella.
Shigella is highly contagious, causing approximately 450,000 infections in the United States each year, according to the CDC.
Shigella can be transmitted in several ways, including changing a sick baby’s diaper, touching the mouth with the bacteria on the hands, sexual contact, and contaminated food or water, the CDC said in its advisory.
People usually recover without treatment, but treatment with antibiotics may be needed in severe cases or if there is an underlying disorder that weakens the immune system.
The bacterium is easily transmitted, and the warning was issued because medical staff treating patients with drug-resistant XDR strain Shigella have few antibiotic treatment options, according to the CDC.
“Given these potentially serious public health concerns,” the agency cautions medical professionals to suspect and report cases of the XDR variant of Shigella to local and state health departments. I made a request.
Last year, 5% of Shigella infections reported to the CDC were caused by the XDR strain of bacteria. In 2015, no infections from his XDR strain were reported to Public Health.
The increase in antibiotic-resistant Shigella infections is primarily among men who have sex with men, people experiencing homelessness, international travelers, and people living with HIV, the CDC reports.
The CDC says medical staff should also educate patients and communities most at risk of infection about prevention and how it spreads.
Sasha Pezenik of ABC News contributed to this report.
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