CHARLOTTE, NC (WNCN) – Exposure to the stool caused a disease that made at least 35 people sick after a weekend celebration in a community in East Charlotte, health officials They said on Monday.
According to the Mecklenburg County Public Information Officer, the incident occurred on Saturday at a neighborhood birthday party in the 6300 block of Four Seasons Lane in the Forest Hills complex.
Health officials said that improper hand washing probably caused exposure. Health officials said that the infected food was prepared by someone who attended the birthday celebration.
MEDIC said they initially responded to five calls to 911 separately within an hour in the same complex on Sunday for complaints of general diseases.
Emergency officials said that the neighborhood event appeared to be a common theme among people who reported being sick.
Several people complained of being sick and 35 people were transferred to hospitals in the area.
In total, 18 people were hospitalized.
While nearly three dozen people have felt the effects of contaminated food, Carmel Clements, who heads the health department's communicable disease unit, is not sure everyone is clear about the symptoms. to Shigella.
"It can be as early as 12 hours, after exposure and last up to seven days," he said.
It was confirmed that four people who were hospitalized had Shigella, which is "very contagious". "Disease that can be transmitted through direct contact with bacteria in the stool," said health officials.
Health officials said that improper handwashing probably caused exposure. Health officials said that the infected food was prepared by someone who attended the birthday celebration, but the source of the bacteria has not been identified.
A person was taken to the Carolinas Medical Center and was being treated as a serious illness, according to MEDIC. Health officials said that some people have received antibiotics.
There is no official word on what caused the disease, but more calls came later in the evening after the initial response, which increased the number of people who were taken to the hospital.
According to the Mecklenburg County Health Department, several children were involved in the incident. At least one child, a 2-year-old child, is currently in the ICU, health officials say.
If you have leftovers from the event, you are asked not to eat it, according to health officials.
The health department continues to investigate what caused the incident.