CDC Issues Alert for Drug-Resistant Stomach Bug
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it's tracking a rise in stomach illnesses caused by infections with 'extensively drug-resistant' Shigella bacteria. Shigella is resistant to multiple antibiotics including azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, and ceftriaxone....
- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it's tracking a rise in stomach illnesses caused by infections with 'extensively drug-resistant' Shigella bacteria. Shigella is resistant to multiple antibiotics including azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, and ceftriaxone.1
- According to CDC data, there are about 450K shigellosis infections every year in the US, resulting in an estimated $93M in direct medical costs. The agency also reported that 5% of infections were 'extensively drug-resistant' in 2022, up from zero cases in 2015.2
- Shigellas, which can cause diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, were predominantly found in children under four, but the CDC has noticed an increase in adults — particularly gay and bisexual men, the homeless, travelers from overseas, and people with HIV.3
- Of the 41 extensively drug-resistant patients the CDC surveyed, 88% reported having male-to-male sexual contact. Diagnoses were also reported in a total of 39 states, the most prevalent of which were California with 76 cases, Colorado with 36, and Massachusetts with 34.4
- Colorado health official Rachel Jervis said that of the 17 recently identified extensively drug-resistant cases, 'Almost half were hospitalized...24% were experiencing homelessness, 29% reported drug use, and 59% were immunocompromised.'5
- Beyond consulting with professionals experienced in treating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the CDC's recommendations for those suspected or confirmed cases include staying home from work, abstaining from sex, frequent hand washing, and other hygienic precautions.2
Sources: 1FOX News, 2New York Post, 3Independent, 4Daily Mail and 5CBS.
- Narrative A, as provided by Gizmodo. Though developing countries with poor water quality will be hit hardest by an increase in Shigella cases, the virus itself is, in general, a relatively minor threat. Good hygiene, rest, and hydration are key. Scientists are also, albeit in the beginning stages, working on a vaccine to prevent infection in the first place.
- Narrative B, as provided by NBC. Shigellosis does go away after some rest for most people, but a rise in drug-resistant cases should still alarm us. For immunocompromised patients — such as those with untreated HIV or who are undergoing chemotherapy — there are real risks of serious illness and hospitalization.