Creating a healthier, better connected Gippsland.

Health alert – Shigella gastroenteritis outbreak related to Esoteric music festival

Date issued: 14 March 2024

Issued by: Professor Ben Cowie, Chief Health Officer

Issued to: Health professionals and the Victorian community

Key messages

  • There has been a Shigella gastroenteritis outbreak among people at the Esoteric festival. Additional patrons and staff who are returning to locations within Victoria and inter-state may develop symptoms in the coming days.
  • People who attended Esoteric Festival who have symptoms should get tested for Shigella with a stool sample.
  • Symptoms may include diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting.
  • Shigella gastroenteritis is generally a self-limiting infection but is highly contagious and can be potentially serious.
  • People with shigellosis who work as food handlers, childcare workers, health care workers, or workers in a residential facility should not return to work until advised.
  • People with Shigella gastroenteritis symptoms should maintain good hygiene, practice handwashing, avoid preparing food for others and practice safer sex practices.
  • Clinicians should include stool culture when testing patients for shigellosis.
  • Antibiotic treatment should only be used for severe infection.
  • Preliminary results suggest an antimicrobial resistant strain of Shigella, therefore standard empirical therapies for Shigella may not provide appropriate coverage in cases linked to this outbreak.
  • Read the full alert: Shigella gastroenteritis outbreak related to Esoteric music festival

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *