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Shigella outbreak reported in Santa Cruz County

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV)- The Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency is sounding the alarm as there has ben shigella outbreak.

County health officials have been giving away health kits that have soap, hand sanitizer, Narcan, liquid IV and water to help people safe from the outbreak.

According to Santa Cruz County Public Health Services Agency, the confirmed cases as of Monday was 37 now was 41 cases.

The risk to the broader community is low and it is typically showing up in North Santa Cruz County amongst the homeless population.

The popular "Duck Derby" is going virtual as a result of the outbreak.

"Washing is extremely important, when you use the bathroom and before you prepare and washing your hands when caring for individuals," Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez said.

Housing Matters on Coral Street is helping some of the unhoused and says they're seeing people at their facility with symptoms of the infection.

“Housing Matters has showers and bathrooms that are open to the public so folks that are in the Harvey West neighborhood that are unsheltered can use our bathrooms and showers daily, seven days a week," Housing Matters Chief Initiatives Officer Tom Bragg said. "The bathrooms are 24/7 and the showers are from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.” 

In order to keep staff at the facility safe, Housing Matters says they deep clean the facility and its common areas 3 to 4 times a week.

A Shigella outbreak among the homeless in Santa Cruz county has led to concerns about the bacterial infection spreading

County Public Health officials says they're finding ways to keep people safe, especially the homeless living in the county.

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Briana Mathaw


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