About Shigella

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Viva Mexico Shigella Outbreak

In October of 2000, the California Department of Health Services identified Viva Mexico, a Redwood City, California restaurant, as the source of a large Shigella outbreak.  According to the Division of Communicable Disease Control Branch final report on the outbreak: 

Between October 19 and 24, approximately 221 individiuals became ill after eating at the Viva Mexico restaurant in Redwood City, CA.  One death occurred in a female who ate at Viva Mexico on October 19.  Symptoms included fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea (sometimes bloody) and dehydration.  Seventy persons were culture-confirmed with Shigella Sonnei.  Of 70 culture-confirmed individuals, 19 ate at Viva Mexico on October 19, 45 on October 20, 6 on October 21, and 1 on October 22.  Analysis of data from a case-control study completed by San Mateo County Communicable Disease Control staff of all patients, completed by San Mateo County Communicable Disease Control staff of all patients, revealed a statistically significant association with salsa served at the table

Viva Mexico Mexican restaurant paid $55,000 in fines and agreed to make sure that employees washed their hands as part of an agreement struck with the San Mateo County district attorney after the outbreak.