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Four locals contract shigellosis following overseas travel: CDC

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Four Taiwanese nationals have been diagnosed with shigellosis, also known as bacillary dysentery, after coming back from tours of Cambodia and Myanmar recently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.

The CDC further noted that three of the cases were infected while visiting Cambodia for a charity event, noting that the other patient developed the symptoms after coming back from a religious tour in Myanmar.

As soon as the patients were diagnosed with the contagious disease, the CDC immediately contacted the patients' tour members, and requested them to conduct medical examinations, the CDC said.

One of the four patients, a 22-year-old female traveler who visited Cambodia, developed symptoms of abdominal pain and diarrhea before boarding the plane back to Taiwan on March 1, the CDC said, noting that 11 days after the patient arrived Taiwan, she was diagnosed with shigellosis.

The CDC went on to say that 15 of the remaining 21 members of the Cambodia tour also have developed similar symptoms, and after conducting medical examinations on all the members, the CDC discovered that a 23-year-old and 24-year-old female patient had also contracted the bacteria.

A 37-year-old man was discovered feverish while passing through a body temperature check point at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on March 10, the CDC said, noting that the patient was later confined to a diagnosis ward on March 14.

The center said it has requested health authorities to track the man's other 26 tour members for medical checks.

CDC official Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍) said so far 25 imported shigellosis cases were confirmed in 2014, noting that the cases were mostly contracted in Southeastern Asian countries. Liu further said the 25 cases do not include foreign workers who entered Taiwan and were later diagnosed.

The CDC said symptoms of shigellosis include mild to severe diarrhea, fever, nausea, cramps and watery or bloody stool, noting that, however, it is possible to develop no symptoms in some cases.

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