CDC warns about increasingly drug-resistant bacteria that causes stomach bug

An urgent warning from the CDC about a stomach bug that's hard to treat because it's drug resistant and spreads easily.
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 6:26 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -The CDC has put out a warning about a stomach bug that’s hard to treat. The XDR cases of the bacteria Shigella are spreading, but so far, no cases have been reported in Virginia.

Doctors say XDR cases of Shigella are easily transmissible but are most likely to spread in children, men who have sex with men, international travelers, those who are homeless and people who have HIV.

The bacteria is spread through infected fecal matter, contaminated food or water, poor handwashing and sexual activity. The most notable symptom is inflammatory diarrhea.

“Some people also experience abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting,” said Kelsey Holloman with the Virginia Department of Health.

The XDR strains of the bacteria can’t be treated with antibiotics.

According to the CDC, there are five antimicrobial treatments used to treat different strains of Shigella bacteria. Most strains are resistant to one or two of the drug treatments. But the XDR strain is resistant to all five.

However, most people should still be able to get past the illness on their own.

“Just through supportive care again, fluid retention and things like that. However, if a person does have severe diarrhea and especially blood in their diarrhea and a high fever, they should seek medical care,” Holloman said.

Still, doctors are offering up some tips to keep you from getting sick in the first place. That includes cleaning surfaces thoroughly after changing diapers and being careful in how you prepare foods and drinks. Doctors also say that some of the best ways to protect yourself against the bacteria include handwashing and sanitizing.