August 24, 2019
Shigellosis bacteria suspected in Santa Ana River illnesses
RIVERSIDE – (INT) – County health officials are investigating reports that two people have taken ill with the Shigella bacteria after visiting the same stretch of the Santa Ana River in Jurupa Valley.

Although the source of the illness has not been confirmed, a section of the river has been closed.

Shigellosis is an illness caused by bacteria called Shigella that cause diarrhea in humans. Symptoms of shigellosis include diarrhea, which is often bloody, fever, and abdominal cramps. Symptoms usually occur within four days after exposure to Shigella, and last five to seven days. Most people with shigellosis recover completely.

“We advise the public to obey all posted signage closing access trails and entrances to the affected portion of the Santa Ana River,” said Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser.

Most of the flow in the river below the city of San Bernardino consists of effluent from 45 wastewater treatment plants and dry season urban runoff.

Using DNA-based water quality tests, Clean Camp Coalition has set out to determine if the people in homeless encampments along the river, where public restrooms don’t exist, are contaminating the water with human excrement and other waste.

Decades of urban runoff, improperly treated wastewater, leaky sewers and septic tanks, chemical and metallic contaminants, pet waste, and animal manure have led to segments of the river being included on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of polluted waterways.

Story Date: August 15, 2019
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