Jordanian health officials say that out-of-temperature chickpea hummus is the source of a Shigella outbreak that sickened 80, according to a Al Wakeel News report (computer translated). The tainted hummus was served at a restaurant in Grandl area, Altafilah province.

Amman Jordan
Jordan map/CIA

Communicable Disease Director with the Health Ministry, Dr Mohammad Abdullat said that out of the 26 samples sent to the central laboratory, 16 of them were positive for shigella.

Of all the people hospitalized for their illness, only two remain.

The restaurant has been closed while the investigation into this foodborne outbreak continues.

Shigellosis is a highly infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. People infected with Shigella may have stomach cramping, mild or severe diarrhea, often with traces of blood or mucus in the stool and fever. Some infected people may not show any symptoms. Symptoms occur from 1-7 days after exposure, but usually within 1-3 days. Symptoms last an average of 4-7 days.

Most Shigella infections are the result of bacteria passing from improperly washed hands of one person to the mouth of another person, often through handling contaminatedobjects or food. Poor hand washing and hygiene (especially after changing diapers or toileting) increases the risk of infection. Shigella infections are particularly likely to occur among toddlers who are not fully toilet-trained. Family members and playmates of such children are at high risk of becoming infected.

Persons with any diarrheal illness should stay home from child care, school or group activities, and should not participate in jobs involving food preparation or healthcare until their diarrhea has resolved. Routine and thorough hand washing and cleaning of surfaces in the above settings is important to limiting the spread of the disease.

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