AHS investigating Shigella outbreak in Edmonton Zone

October 19, 2022

EDMONTON – Alberta Health Services (AHS) is notifying the public about an ongoing investigation into a Shigella outbreak in the Edmonton Zone.  

In August of this year, AHS identified a cluster of Shigella cases among the inner city population of Edmonton.  

To date, we have identified 87 people with Shigella, 64 of those people required hospitalizations. The first person became ill on August 17, 2022. 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. 

AHS has reached out to physicians and inner city shelters and partners to advise them of the situation and has provided advice for helping reduce the spread of illness while also ensuring that anyone who requires medical attention receives the care they need.  

A task force led by AHS with representation from the City of Edmonton, Alberta Health, Alberta Community and Social Services, Edmonton area shelters and other partner organizations has been created with the goal of sharing resources and support to help stop the spread of this bacteria. 

The majority of the cases to date are within the city’s inner city population, so the risk to the general public remains low. However, we would like to remind people that proper hand hygiene helps to prevent the spread of many illnesses, including Shigella.  

Anyone experiencing symptoms that might be related to Shigella or anyone with questions or concerns about their health is encouraged to speak with their healthcare provider or call Health Link at 811. 

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.