Birthday parties are filled with fun and food and... fecal matter?! The Doctors discuss one such potluck party in Charlotte, North Carolina that reportedly left attendees ill after they came in contact with a bacteria called Shigella. Over 40 people reportedly felt sick and half of them were rushed to the hospital. Shigella can cause symptoms like bloody diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain. The local county health director said the food itself wasn't bad but it was likely contaminated by a person who prepared it.
One giant takeaway, if you are about to cook, wash your hands! Shigella is actually a common problem. Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says there are half a million cases in the U.S. per year and globally 165 million cases!
The Doctors remind viewers of common food safety tips. Cooking food can kill off bacteria, and if you are prepping it ahead of time, be careful not to cross-contaminate knives. Also, make sure to thoroughly wash all your fruits and vegetables.
ER physician Dr. Travis Stork explains this story was of a fecal-oral transmission. If you are ill and having diarrhea, what is coming out of you is the bacterial infection. If just a little bit gets on your hands, you could risk transmitting the bacteria to others. If you're sick, step away from the kitchen!
Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra brings up that caregivers of those with compromised or weaker immune systems like young children or the elderly need to be extra cautious. For them, infections like Shigella could be very serious.