There are bugs — like the kind where your head hurts and you think, “man, I should probably stay home from work today,” — and then there are superbugs. You know, those nasty suckers that put hospitals on guard, remind everyone to use hand sanitizer and leave you in a constant state of terror until the news reports die down.
Unfortunately, we’ve been hit with another bug of the “super” variety recently, both here in Canada and across the border in the U.S.
Shigella, a stomach bug, is a super strain of bacteria that has once again made its rounds, causing symptoms like diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain (cramping), nausea and vomiting. For children and the elderly, it can be fatal. Equally worse, the bug seems to have developed a resistance to the medicines typically used to treat it.
So what can you do to prevent getting sick?
Make sure to cook all of your meat to the proper temperature, since undercooked foods seem to be one cause. Drinking contaminated water or having contact with contaminated surfaces also seems to do the trick. Of course, continue washing your hands as well, and try to stop touching your face. If you do feel sick, be sure to stay away from work or school and visit your doctor.