Monthly Archives: April 2015

Diarrhea Superbug Entering U.S. With Returning Travelers

A number of international travelers, especially those returning from developing countries, are bringing with them an antibiotic-resistant bacteria which is infecting clusters of victims at home. As reported in Time, in California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, 90% of the cases were resistant to the antibiotic Cipro (ciprofloxacin), which is the current drug of choice to treat the infection.

The bacteria, shigella sonnei, infects about 500,000 Americans every year. Most types of shigella have become resistant to other antibiotics. Between May, 2014 and February, 2015, the drug-resistant shigella infected 243 victims in 32 states and Puerto Rico. Cipro is becoming less and less useful worldwide.

“Drug resistant infections are harder to treat and because shigella spreads so easily between people, the potential for more and larger outbreaks is a real concern,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC). He also said these outbreaks are a “troubling trend.” The CDC recommends that international travelers such as Dan Newlin be vigilant about washing their hands and know what they are eating.