By NewsDesk  @bactiman63 

Earlier in the year, Vancouver Coastal Health reported on an outbreak of Shigella flexnari in Downtown Eastside.

By the end of the outbreak, two dozen people were affected with two-thirds requiring hospitalization for their illness.

On Sunday, a tweet from infectious disease physician, Dr. Victor Leung, is alerting the public of some ongoing transmission of multi-drug resistant Shigella flexneri 2a in the same area.

A report from The Tyee notes: Vancouver Coastal Health says there have been six cases so far in November. The health authority says the cases are so far isolated, and no connection has yet been found between the cases.

Leung told The Tyee it’s concerning to see the increase in cases, because the number of sick people could “expand quickly if prevention and control measures are not implemented in a timely manner.”


Shigellosis is highly contagious (as few as 10 to 100 organisms can cause infection), and transmission occurs via contaminated food and water, or direct person-to-person spread. Shigella species are present in the stool of infected persons while they have diarrhea and for up to a few weeks after diarrhea has resolved.

Shigellosis is usually self-limited in immunocompetent hosts, although complications may occur, such as post-infectious arthritis, bloodstream infections, seizures, and hemolytic-uremic syndrome. In PEH, Shigella can be a particular problem when access to facilities with hand washing stations is limited.

The infection is diagnosed with stool testing. Most people will recover fully without antibiotic treatment, though individuals with poor immune systems can develop life-threatening disease.


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