Shigella Information

Medical Officer of Health - Edmonton Zone

Due to a number of cases confirmed in the last three weeks, as of March 9, 2023, AHS has reopened the Shigella outbreak impacting Edmonton Zone inner-city residents.

Since August 2022, we have identified 211 people with Shigella that are related to this outbreak, 144 of which have required hospitalization. The majority of the cases to date are within the city’s inner-city population. No deaths have been reported connected to this outbreak.

Shigella is a disease that’s commonly associated with diarrhea, as well as fever, nausea and stomach cramps. It can cause severe illness, resulting in hospitalization and it spreads when someone comes into contact with fecal matter from an infected person and also by eating food contaminated with the bacteria.

Please continue the following preventive measures to avoid the spread of infection:

  • Maintain personal hygiene
  • Sanitary disposal and/or laundering of items contaminated with feces
  • Wash hands carefully after washroom use and sexual contact, and before preparing or eating food
  • Clean and sanitize food contact surfaces such as cutting boards, counter tops and utensils
  • Proper food and equipment handling, preparation, and hygiene
  • Avoid handling food for others if ill with diarrhea
  • Proper and frequent cleaning of washrooms

For healthcare professionals, it is important to continue to test any patient that has new or worsening diarrheal illness who is suspected to be linked to the outbreak.

Information on empiric treatment, testing and data collection can be found in the Guidance for Community Treatment, Diagnosis and Data Collection. The therapeutic recommendations were developed specifically for vulnerable persons suspected of having shigellosis with moderate to severe clinical illness in the context of this outbreak. Therefore, the use of the treatment guidelines is applicable for this outbreak only.

Information on rectal swab instructions can be found in the Rectal Swab Instructions.

If you have questions about these resources or the recommendations within, email: