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Shigellosis Outbreaks Among Travelers

Although sporadic cases of shigellosis are common among travelers and expatriates, overt outbreaks are relatively uncommon. The following chronology was abstracted from reference [1]. Primary references are available on request.

1969 (publication year) – An outbreak of shigellosis was reported among Australian soldiers in Vietnam.
1976 – An outbreak (386 cases) of diarrhea due to Salmonella, Vibrio, Shigella, ETEC and EIEC was reported among passengers of a cruise ship following a visit to Haiti.
1987 – An outbreak (15 cases) of Shigella dysenteriae infection was reported among American tourists in Mexico.
1988 – An outbreak (240 cases) of shigellosis was reported among domestic and international passengers aboard an airline based in the United States.
1989 – An outbreak (84 cases) of Shigella flexneri infection aboard an American cruise ship was caused by contaminated potato salad.
1991 (publication year) – An outbreak (11 cases) of Shigella sonnei infection was reported among children from a Danish day-care institution on tour in Sweden.
1992 – An outbreak of shigellosis was reported among passengers on a cruise ship following a restaurant meal in Saint Lucia.
1994 – An outbreak (610 cases, 1 fatal) of Shigella flexneri infection occurred on a cruise ship sailing between California and Mexico.
1994 – An outbreak (1,062 cases) was reported among Rwandan refugees in Dem. Rep. Congo. A parallel outbreak (77 cases) involved Dutch military personnel who had eaten at an on-site hotel.
1996 – An outbreak (350 cases) was reported on a cruise ship en route from Venice to Crete.
2001 – Outbreaks (30 cases) were reported among travelers returning to New Zealand from Samoa.
2002 – An outbreak (78 cases) of food-borne Shigella sonnei infection was reported among tourists at a hotel resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
2003 – An outbreak (99 cases) was reported among Taiwanese tourists on tour in Indonesia.
2004 – An outbreak (45 cases) of Shigella sonnei infection in the United States, Japan, Australia and American Samoa was associated with food served on air flights serviced by a supplier in Hawaii.
2005 – An outbreak (71 cases) was reported among Irish tourists in Egypt.
2005 – An outbreak (6 cases) was reported among Japanese students and family members traveling to Malaysia and Singapore.
2005 (publication year) – An outbreak (14 cases) was reported among tourists at a rural hotel in the Canary Islands.
2006 – An outbreak (23 cases) of Shigella sonnei infection was reported among passengers on a bus from Norway to the Russian Federation.
2008 – Outbreaks (18 cases) were reported among tourists from Hong Kong in Cambodia (11 cases) and Egypt (7 cases).

1. Berger SA. Shigellosis: Global Status. 150 pp., 891 refs. 2010, Gideon e-book series http://www.gideononline.com/ebooks/disease/shigellosis-global-status/

Update: Posted in ProMED

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