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What to Do if You Suspect a Shigella Outbreak

Posted in Shigella on July 31, 2023

Suspecting a shigella outbreak is a serious matter that requires swift action. Here are the steps to take.

Inform the Local Health Department

Contact your local health department as soon as possible to report the suspected shigella outbreak. You can find their contact information on their website or through a quick internet search. Most health departments have a communicable disease division that deals with infectious disease outbreaks.

When reporting the outbreak, be prepared to provide detailed information, such as:

  • The number of affected individuals and their symptoms.
  • The date and location of the onset of symptoms.
  • Any common exposures or events where people might have come into contact with the bacteria (e.g., a school, restaurant, or community gathering).
  • Any potential sources of contamination, such as food or water.

Health officials will likely initiate an investigation to determine the source and extent of the spread. Cooperate fully during this process, which may involve providing additional information, participating in interviews, and following any guidance given.

Isolate and Treat Affected Individuals

If you suspect that you or a loved one has contracted shigellosis, seek medical attention promptly for proper diagnosis and treatment. It is also essential to isolate yourself or them from others to minimize the risk of spreading the bacteria. Stay at home until symptoms have entirely resolved and you or they have received clearance from a healthcare professional. Encourage affected individuals to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.

What Compensation Can I Recover?

If you believe you contracted shigellosis due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct, you might be entitled to seek compensation for the following:

Medical Expenses

This includes hospitalization, doctor’s visits, medication, laboratory tests, and any other necessary medical procedures.

Lost Wages

This includes both the wages you lost while you were sick and any future income you may lose if your illness results in long-term effects that affect your ability to work.

Pain and Suffering

Compensation for pain and suffering is intended to account for the physical pain and emotional suffering you experienced as a result of the infection.

Punitive Damages

The court reserves punitive damages for cases where a defendant (at-fault party) exhibited an extremely reckless disregard for the safety of others.

When Should I Contact an Attorney?

If you have contracted shigella and believe that someone else’s negligence or misconduct may have caused or contributed to your illness, it is essential to contact a Shigella lawyer as soon as possible. If you suspect that your shigella infection is part of a larger outbreak, an attorney can help investigate the source of the outbreak and determine liability. They will work to build a solid shigella case in order to hold the responsible parties accountable and ensure you receive fair compensation.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

The time limit within which you must file a shigella claim is governed by the statute of limitations, which varies state to state. For instance, you generally have two years in Texas, beginning from the date you contracted the illness or when you discovered it or reasonably should have known about it. It is crucial to be aware of how long you have to file a claim because if you fail to pursue legal action within the specified time, you may lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.