Dozens of people from the Bhutanese community were reportedly sick after attending a birthday party on Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, North Carolina.
According to Mecklenburg County Health Department, at least 18 individuals including some small children were admitted in Novant Hospital and Atrium Hospital.
Of those admitted, some with serious symptoms of Shigella bacteria were treated in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) with antibiotics. At least two of those in the ICU were children, the health department said.
Though the exact mode of transmission of Shigella bacteria was not clear, the department suspected that someone with the bacteria either prepared or touch food, and eventually transferred to individuals at the party.
While addressing a media gathering on Monday, Mecklenburg County Health Director, Gibbie Harris, said that her department estimated that at least 40 individuals out of 100 attending the party were sick.
The department also requested anyone who still has food from the party to contact Environmental Health at 980-314-1660. The attendees have been urged not to eat any surplus foods from the party.
Shigella develops diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps starting a day or two after they are exposed to the bacteria, according to the health department.
Several attempts made by BNS to reach out to the Bhutanese family who organized the party became unsuccessful.