Edmonton shigella outbreak rising | CTV Information

In about a month, a shigella outbreak in Edmonton’s “inner-city population” doubled in size, officials say.

Alberta Health Services has counted 163 people sick from the bacteria, up from 87 on Oct. 19

The majority – 111 people – have been hospitalized, AHS told CTV News Edmonton in an update on Monday.

“The majority of the cases to date are within the city’s inner-city population, so the risk to the general public remains low. However, we would like to remind people that proper hand hygiene helps to prevent the spread of many illnesses, including shigella ,” AHS said in a statement.

The agency said the phrase “inner city” refers to a “combination of circumstances for folks, including but not limited to Edmonton’s vulnerable and houseless population.”

The Alberta NDP has called on the government to take immediate action such as train frontline workers to recognize symptoms, provide isolation space, and provide more hand sanitization and wash stations for the houseless.

AHS created a taskforce with the City of Edmonton, local shelters, and Alberta Community and Social Services to stop the outbreak. AHS did not provide an update on the team’s work on Monday.

The first case in the Edmonton zone was confirmed Aug. 17.

Shigella bacteria can cause severe illness and symptoms including nausea, stomach cramps, fever and diarrhea. It is spread through contact with fecal matter from an infected person or by eating food contaminated with the bacteria.

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