An outbreak of shigella occurred at the Mariscos San Juan Restaurant on 4th Street in San Jose, California, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department said Tuesday. Individuals started to report symptoms including fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea last Saturday, health officials said. Currently, at least 15 of those sickened have been diagnosed with shigella, according to the health department.
The restaurant was closed on Sunday and health department officials are asking anyone who has eaten at the restaurant and developed symptoms, including fever or sudden onset of diarrhea, to see a doctor immediately. No specific source of contamination has been identified, according to the health department.
“I’ve never been this sick,” said Erika Funes, a San Jose mother of two who lunched at Mariscos San Juan on Friday. It was her first visit to the restaurant. After her temperature shot up to 105.2 degrees that night, a relative drove her to the emergency room at O’Connor Hospital in west San Jose.
“I’m feeling better now, but I still have some stomach pain,” she said on Tuesday, “My main concerns are my two little ones at home. I don’t want them to get infected.”
“My fever was at 104 — that’s when vomitting started,” said Andres Guera, who was still recovering late Monday after spending the weekend in the intensive care unit at Kaiser Permanente hospital in Santa Clara. Guera said the pain started Friday after having lunch at Mariscos.
“The first thing they did was put seven liters of fluid in me,” Guera said. Guera soon found out he was not the only one sickened after an emergency room nurse told him “it was like a Hollywood movie down there with all the patients coming in.”
Anna Aguilar and her mother-in-law, Josefina Alfonso, both got sick. They told us by phone management denied they had anything to do with it.
“My husband contacted the owner yesterday and the owner was very rude. He told my husband no, that we must have ate something the night before or during that week,” Aguilar said.
Alicia Ingram said, “I wanted shrimp tacos, so I just Yelped somewhere like ‘Mexican seafood.'”
However, she had no idea her craving for seafood would land her in the hospital. It wasn’t until she collapsed in the hallway, that her family rushed her to the emergency room. If Alicia didn’t make it to the hospital when she did, she could have ended up in the ICU.
“They got my heart rate back to normal and my blood pressure up,” Alicia recalls.
Alicia’s parents want answers and they want the owner to be held accountable.
Alicia’s father, Barry Ingram, told ABC7 News, “I was so angry because I feel that if anything, for their reputation, you think they would say, ‘Ok, we’re going to check into this.’ But the doctor told us he’s not being very compliant.”
The Ingrams are doing what they can to protect themselves by routinely washing their hands, while Alicia recovers at home.
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. Our Shigella lawyers have litigated Shigella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as tomatoes, airplane and restaurant food.
Here are some examples of past Shigella Outbreaks:
- Doubletree Hotel Shigella Outbreak Lawsuit – Colorado (2003)
- Filiberto’s Shigella Outbreak Lawsuit – California (2006)
- Gate Gourmet Shigella Outbreak Lawsuits – Hawaii, Nationwide (2004)
- Royal Fork Shigella Outbreak Lawsuits – Washington (2001)
- Salsarita Shigella Outbreak Lawsuit – Arkansas (2014)
- Senor Felix 5-Layer Dip Shigella Outbreak Lawsuits – Western States (2000)
- Subway Restaurant Shigella Outbreak Lawsuits – Illinois (2010)
- Viva Mexico Shigella Outbreak Lawsuits – California (2000)