A Shigellosis Outbreak in a Long-term Mental Health Treatment Center — Hualien County, 2016

DOI: 10.6525/TEB.201803_34(5).0002

Hsing-Hsuan Yu1*, Hsiao-Lien Huang1, Ta-Jen Chien1,Ying-Shu Liao2, Chien-Shun Chiou2, Hao-Yuan Cheng3

2018 Vol.34 NO.5

Correspondence Author: Hsing-Hsuan Yu1*

  • 1Eastern Regional Center, Centers for Disease Control,Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 2Center for Diagnostics and Vaccine Development, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 3 Epidemic Intelligence Center, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


On February 23rd and 26th, 2016, two shigellosis cases were reported from a long-term mental health treatment center in Hualien, respectively. Bacterial cultures from both cases, who lived in the same room, yielded Shigella dysenteriae serotype 3. The Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) of bacterial isolates revealed 100% identical pattern, suggesting the same infection source. A shigellosis outbreak was thus confirmed. An outbreak could easily spread among residents and workers when it occurred in populous institutions. The public health authority and the institution promptly reported and monitored the event, conducted contact tracing, implemented standard precautions, and enhanced environmental and hand hygiene. In addition, the stool samples were also collected from every contacts on the first day and the fourth day after symptom onset to facilitate case finding and early diagnosis. No further cases were found after February 26th after the implementation of control measures.