What is the prevalence of Shigella infection in the US?

Updated: Apr 03, 2018
  • Author: Jaya Sureshbabu, MBBS, MRCPCH(UK), MRCPI(Paeds), MRCPS(Glasg), DCH(Glasg); Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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In 2013, the average annual incidence of shigellosis in the United States was 4.82 cases per 100,000 individuals. [10]  State public health laboratories reported 7,746 laboratory confirmed Shigella infections to the CDC in 2012. Of the 7,746 laboratory confirmed isolates, 6,867 were identified to species level. Distribution by species was similar to previous years, with S sonnei accounting for the largest percentage of infections (75%), followed by S flexneri (12%), S boydii (0.8%), and S dysenteriae (0.3%).The reporting jurisdictions with the highest incidence rates were Nebraska (13.2 %), New Jersey (7.6%), and Minnesota (7.1%). [11] The highest incidence per 100,000 population for shigellosis (27.77 cases) was among children younger than 5 years.

The largest outbreak of Shigellosis since 1988 took place in Michigan in 2016. [12]


The overall incidence of Shigella infection in 2012 was 2.5 cases per 100,000 population, and the rate of HUS in pediatric patients younger than 15 years is 0.49 cases per 100,000 population. Compared with the previous 10 years (2002–2011), a larger portion of Shigella infections in 2012 were reported from January through March. More than 95% of Shigella infections may be asymptomatic. Hence, the actual incidence may be 20 times higher than reported. The CDC estimates that 450,000 total cases of shigellosis occur in the United States every year. The latest major outbreak is reported from Illinois in February 2010 due to S sonnei.

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