Pennsylvania, among the states most affected by a resistant bacteria
It is called Shigela, it is transmitted through contaminated water or food and the main symptoms of disease it causes (shigellosis) are diarrhea, stomach pain or fever. Recovering from the disease is simple, in the majority of cases it doesn’t require any treatment, and in the most extreme cases only requires antibiotics (Ciprofloxacin is the most common) to end it in the fastest way, though it is quite contagious. Shigela is not an unordinary bacterium in the country; it is responsible for nearly 500,000 cases of diarrhea a year in the US. Nonetheless, in its latest report the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) informs of the existence of various cases of Shigela that are resistant to ciprofloxacin.
The agency has registered 243 cases (around 20 percent requiring hospitalization) in 32 states and Puerto Rico between May 2014 and February 2015; a figure that is not very significant when compared with the total, but that requires the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to be vigilant. “Infections resistant to medications are hard to treat and, given that Shigela spreads quickly, the possibility of outbreak growing is what worries us. That is why we are acting quickly to carry out a national strategy to contain the resistance to antibiotics because we cannot assume that we will always have the treatment we need to fight against common infections”, Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC explained. In the US, this bacterium is already resistant to antibiotics such as ampicillin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole.
Pennsylvania, with 18 cases, is one of the states in the country most affected by this resistant bacterium; along with Massachusetts (45) and California (25). Among the recommendations by the agency to prevent infection –the bacterium is acquired many times outside the country—is to wash your hands frequently (especially after going to the bathroom and before preparing meals or food) or keeping children away from group activities when they are sick (daycare centers are a focal point for transmission).