At least 80 people have become ill and 12 required intensive care treatment at hospitals after a food poisoning outbreak at a San Jose Mexican seafood restaurant.
According to a report in the San Jose Mercury News, the customers contracted Shigella, an easily transmittable bacterium.
Health officials in Santa Clara County fear that more than 100 others can become infected over the next few days because it doesn’t take much for the bacteria to spread.
Shigella infections can be serious, and sometimes, even fatal.
Mariscos San Juan, the downtown San Jose restaurant, seems to be the only source of this Shigella outbreak. They have since been trying to alert people who ate there and may be vulnerable to the infection, which causes severe fever, diarrhea and stomach pain.
Symptoms may not appear for a week, but often begin one to four days after the infection. Some customers reported they had fever higher than 105.2, which caused them to be hospitalized. Shigella infections are often treated with antibiotics.
It severely affects the young, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. Some of the 80 cases included people who did not eat at the restaurant but were infected by contact with customers who had.
Health officials are asking to curb the outbreak by encouraging people to practice good hand-washing habits and urging those who are ill not to prepare food for others. Officials suspect that the disease was spread by a contaminated food handler. The restaurant will remain closed until officials are satisfied it is safe.
What to Do if You Have Been Infected
If you or a loved has suffered food poisoning as a result of this recent outbreak, it is important that you get prompt medical attention. If you ate at this particular restaurant or think that you may have secondary infection, be sure to request a specific lab test to rule out Shigella infection.
Report your illness to the local health care or public health agency. If you have any leftovers in your home, be sure to isolate and preserve it so it can be tested independently in a laboratory for the bacteria.
Contact an experienced San Jose food poisoning lawyer who will be able to help you obtain compensation for damages including all medical expenses, hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress.