Creating a healthier, better connected Gippsland.

Health advisory: Health warning on antibiotic resistant Shigella

Status: Active

Date issued: 11 July 2023

Issued by: Adjunct Clinical Professor Brett Sutton, Chief Health Officer

Issued to: Victorian community and health professionals

Key messages

  • Increasing antibiotic resistance is being detected in infections caused by Shigella bacteria (shigellosis), especially among men who have had recent sexual contact with other men. It is also being seen in returned travellers.
  • Shigellosis is generally a self-limiting infection but is highly contagious and can be potentially serious.
  • Practicing safer sex and handwashing can help prevent the spread of shigellosis.
  • People with shigellosis should maintain good hygiene and safer sex practices, avoid preparing food for others, and avoid settings with an increased risk of onward spread to at-risk individuals.
  • Clinicians should include stool culture when testing patients for shigellosis, and reserve antibiotic treatment for cases of severe infection.
  • Local Public Health Units are following up people diagnosed with resistant Shigella infections, and their contacts, to provide advice about symptom monitoring, testing and exclusion requirements.
  • People with shigellosis who work as food handlers, childcare workers, health care workers, or workers in a residential facility should be excluded from work until advised by the Local Public Health Unit.
  • Read the full advisory: Health warning on antibiotic resistant Shigella

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