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In a follow-up on the Shigella outbreak in Eureka, California, Humboldt County Public Health Nurse Daniel Tran reported Friday that the outbreak in the greater waterfront area has grown to five confirmed cases and 11 currently under investigation.

“Shigella is a gastrointestinal bacteria, which is really just a fancy way of saying that it causes diarrhea, upset stomach, gas, and that kind of stuff. Typically this bacteria is found within a person’s feces or stool and even though that’s where it’s typically found, you could still spread it if you’ve made contact with different surfaces that are not clean and disinfected,” Tran said.

Shigella is transmitted by oral ingestion, meaning it must travel into the body through food or drink. The bacteria can come into contact with food and drink through contact with surfaces where the bacteria is located.

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“That means you do not have to worry about it being transmitted through the air, like if someone sneezed on you or any of that. This is really a surface problem,” Tran said.