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December 24, 1973

Shiga Bacillus InfectionExperience in Los Angeles County, 1966 to 1971

JAMA. 1973;226(13):1559-1561. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230130047016

In August 1970, an 18-month-old girl, who had never been outside of Los Angeles County, was found to have shiga bacillus dysentery. Consequently, we established a surveillance of all cases of this disease in the county. Twenty cases occurred between 1966 and 1971; 19 of them in the last three years. Two patients died. Three had never traveled out of the county. Of 47 family contacts, 5 had evidence of asymptomatic infection. The sudden rise in incidence of this disease and the documented spread within the county are a warning for the future.