Public Health Warning was issued on October 17, 2015, by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department after a local hospital notified officials of 5 patients with fever and diarrhea who had all eaten at the same restaurant. Over two dozen individuals with fever and diarrhea have now been reported to have eaten at Mariscos San Juan restaurant (205 N. 4 Street) in downtown San Jose on Friday, October 16 or Saturday, October 17. The restaurant closed on Sunday morning and remains closed.

Over a dozen of the victims have tested positive for Shigella. Almost all of the reported cases have required hospital admission, and 11 are in intensive care.

“Outbreaks like this are so infuriating, because they can be easily prevented by simply washing your hands – a practice that unfortunately is so often ignored,” said Bill Marler, food safety attorney and Shigella expert. “Shigella is a very, very nasty bacteria. I cannot emphasize enough, especially to food handlers, how important it is to follow common sense sanitary practices.” Learn more about how to prevent against Shigella here.

In early 2015 the CDC warned that international travelers were bringing a multidrug-resistant intestinal illness to the United States and spreading it to others who have not traveled. Shigella sonnei bacteria resistant to the antibiotic ciprofloxacin sickened 243 people in 32 states and Puerto Rico between May 2014 and February 2015. Research by the CDC found that the drug-resistant illness was being repeatedly introduced as ill travelers returned and was then infecting other people in a series of outbreaks around the country.

The onset of a Shigella infection typically takes 12 to 96 hours after ingesting the bacteria, and symptoms include watery or bloody diarrhea with abdominal pain, fever, rectal spasms, and stomach cramping. Shigella is very infectious and spreads via fecal-oral contact. The bacteria is typically contracted by eating food prepared by an infected food handler or by direct person-to-person contact. Sexual transmission may also occur. Young children, the elderly, and HIV-infected individuals are more likely to have severe symptoms including dehydration, bacteremia, and seizures.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Shigella outbreaks. The Shigella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Shigella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Marler Clark’s Shigella lawyers have litigated Shigella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as tomatoes, airplane food, and restaurant food.

If you or a family member became ill with a Shigella infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Shigella attorneys for a free case evaluation.