Shigellosis Outbreak Linked to Walmart Cafeteria

The Arkansas Department of Health has traced an outbreak of Shigellosis affecting dozens of people to a cafeteria at Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, AR. Officials indicated the likely source was Salsarita’s, a Mexican food bar operated by Eurest. “So far that does seem to be where most people say that they had eaten before they became ill,” said Cathy Flanagin of the state health department. Salsarita’s was reportedly closed for a time while Walmart and the Benton County Health Department investigated the situation. The entire cafeteria was disinfected, including all kitchen and dining areas. Shigellosis is a highly contagious bacterial infection typically transmitted by people who don’t wash their hands after using the restroom or changing diapers. Symptoms include diarrhea (often bloody), fever and stomach cramps which appear within a day or two of exposure. The symptoms usually resolve within five to seven days, and those infected are rarely hospitalized.