Mariscos San Juan Restaurant Shigella Outbreak and Litigation - California (2015)
According to a Public Health Warning, on Saturday afternoon, October 17, 2015, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department was notified by a local hospital of 5 patients with fever and diarrhea who had all eaten at the same restaurant. Subsequent case finding revealed a total of over 190 individuals with fever and diarrhea who ate at Mariscos San Juan restaurant (205 N. 4 Street) in downtown San Jose on Friday October 16 or Saturday October 17. The restaurant was closed on Sunday morning.
Of the ill persons, at least 55 tested positive for Shigella by PCR, and one had a blood culture growing Shigella sonnei; almost all of the reported cases required hospital admission, and 15 were in intensive care. There were other individuals who were seen and not admitted or who were ill but did not seek medical attention.
More than 190 people who ate at the Mariscos San Juan restaurant at 205 North 4th Street in San Jose on Friday or Saturday became acutely ill with fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, including 15 who were being treated in intensive care units, according to a release issued by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.
Everyone who became sick told health officials they ate at the Mariscos San Juan restaurant on Friday or Saturday, according to the release. The health department shut down the restaurant Sunday morning.
Shigella is a bacterium that can cause sudden and severe diarrhea (gastroenteritis) in humans. Shigella infection occurs when the excrement (feces) of an infected individual is ingested by another person. The infectious material is spread to new cases by person-to-person contact or via contaminated food or water. Approximately 20% of the nearly 450,000 cases of shigellosis that occur annually in the U.S are foodborne-related, leading to Shigella outbreaks. Food can become contaminated by food workers or during processing.
Marler Clark represented 134 individuals in this outbreak. All cases were successfully settled with compensation for the victims including medical expenses and wage loss.