Sweden reports dozens of Shigella infections linked to travel to Cape Verde

Outbreak News Today

Folkhalsomyndigheten, or Sweden’s Public Health Agency reports 30 cases of shigella infection with a travel connection to Cape Verde have been reported in Sweden since mid-November.

Among Swedish travelers, infections with other intestinal pathogens, for example EHEC, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium and Giardia, have also been noted. Infection with Shigella in connection with trips to Cape Verde has been a recurring problem. This and the presence of various Shigella species and other intestinal pathogens suggest contamination via food.

Shigella bacteria are found in stool, and infection is spread by eating food or drinking liquids contaminated by an infected person, or when a person touches a contaminated surface or object and then touches their mouth or puts the object into their mouth. People infected with shigellosis typically experience a fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea which may be bloody.

Onset of shigellosis symptoms usually occurs one to two days after exposure—but may take longer—and lasts around a week. Infected people can remain contagious up to six weeks after symptoms resolve.

Most people with shigellosis recover completely without severe complications. In rare cases Shigella may cause bloodstream infections, seizures, kidney failure or arthritis.

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