The Ministry of Health of Ukraine’s  Donetsk Regional Laboratory Center has confirmed the etiology of an outbreak that sickened dozens at a children’s camp in the Donetsk region earlier this week-Shigella sonnei.

IMage/CDC
IMage/CDC

The children’s camp “Orlyatko”, which took place on July 16-17, 2018, ended up with 94 ill and 18 cases laboratory confirmed as S. sonnei. Patients are under constant medical supervision and receive the necessary treatment, and at present their condition is satisfactory.

During the comprehensive sanitary and epidemiological investigation, numerous violations of sanitary legislation were detected, while not specified. The “Orlyatko” facility has been closed for being in violation of sanitary and epidemiological requirements under Art. 325 Part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine and criminal proceedings were opened.

Shigellosis is an acute bacterial disease of the intestines caused by several species of the bacterium, Shigella. It is typified by loose stools, frequently containing blood and mucus (dysentery), accompanied by fever, vomiting, cramps and occasionally toxemia.

More severe complications may include convulsions in children, Reiter’s syndrome and hemolytic uremic syndrome depending on the species of Shigella implicated.

It is transmitted primarily by fecal-oral person to person means. It can also occur through contaminated food or water. Those that are primarily responsible for transmission are those that fail to wash their hands thoroughly after defecation.

Because Shigella is resistant to gastric acid, a person can get infected with as little as 10 organisms.

After getting infected symptoms usually appear 1-3 days later. It can be transmitted during the acute phase of infection until approximately four weeks after illness when the organism is no longer present in the feces. Asymptomatic carriers can also infect others.