There has been a new outbreak among gay and bisexual men in San Diego County and raising concerns among county officials.
Health officials have seen an outbreak of shigella among the gay and bisexual population in San Diego County. In 2017 there was 334 reported case and the highest in 20 years. Of those 97 cases were highly contagious as reported by NBC News. 25% of those reported were men who have sex with other men, and 7% were homeless.
Shigella is an intestinal disease and very similar to E.coli and is spread through stool. You can contract shigella by changing a diaper, contaminated food or water, or through sexual contact, according to the CDC.
For gay and bi men they can be at a higher risk because of sexual activity such as rimming, which could transfer stool fragments to the mouth. Diarrhea, fever, and stomach pain are all symptoms of Shigella and can last up to a week. In very serious cases these symptoms can last a month. An individual can remain contagious up to two weeks after symptoms disappear.
Any individual having these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for treatment. The CDC has reported that antibiotic-resistant strains have emerged. If you have been diagnosed with shigella it is recommended that you wait at least two weeks before having any sexual activity. You should also use condoms for oral sex, apply dental dams for rimming and make sure you wash your hands after sexual contact, especially rising your mouth out with mouthwash after rimming.