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​Plesiomonas (P.) shigelloides

  • Plesiomonas shigelloides is a bacteria that may result in gastroenteritis.
  • It is most common in tropical and sub-tropical areas, but can be found worldwide.
  • Infections usually occur in the summer and fall.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Joint pain (arthralgia)
  • Headache

Symptoms usually appear within 48 hours of eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Symptoms usually end within two weeks, but can last longer.

Spread

Plesiomonas shigelloides can be spread through the fecal-oral route, through the consumption of infected seafood (especially oysters), contaminated water, contaminated vegetables, or through exposure to amphibians and reptiles.

Treatment

People experiencing symptoms usually do not require treatment. They should drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration. Electrolyte fluids or oral rehydration salts can also be used. If illness is severe, contact a doctor or go to the emergency room. Antibiotics may be needed for complicated cases.

Prevention

Clean

  • Wash hands and surfaces often and always before starting food preparation.
  • Keep pets, including reptiles, away from food preparation areas.
  • Clean reusable grocery bags and bins often with hot, soapy water.
  • Wash raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Scrub firm or rough-skinned produce with a brush.
  • Don’t place cooked food on an unwashed plate that held raw meat, poultry, or fish.

Separate

  • Use one cutting board for raw meat, fish, and poultry; and a different one for fresh produce and other foods that will not be cooked to avoid cross-contamination.

Cook

  • Cook to a safe internal temperature.
  • Insert thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.

Chill

  • Food poisoning bacteria grow and increase in numbers at temperatures between 4°C and 60°C.
  • Chill leftovers quickly in a fridge that is kept at 4°C.

Eat

  • Eat and drink only pasteurized juice, cider, milk, and milk products.
  • Eat thoroughly cooked food held at proper temperatures between 4°C and 60°C.
  • Eat salads or fruit that have been properly washed; especially when travelling in developing countries where water may be contaminated.
  • When travelling, to protect yourself from contaminated food and water: “Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!”

Ask your doctor to report any suspected food poisoning diagnoses to the Brant County Health Unit. If many cases happen at the same time, it may mean that a food premises or a particular food item has a problem that needs to be investigated.