The shellfish industry and government regulators try to control the problem by seeing that shellfish are harvested from unpolluted beds not tainted by sewage. Unfortunately, these efforts cannot guarantee that shellfish from unapproved beds do not reach the market.

shigellosis A diarrheal disease caused by any of a group of four different species of bacteria known as Shigella. Two-thirds of cases occur in children between six months and 10 years of age, although the disease is rare in infants under age six months. The highest rate of infection occurs in child-care centers, large camps, and institutions.

Shigella were discovered more than 100 years ago by japanese scientist Kiyoshi Shiga, who first described the bacterial origin of dysentery caused by this bacteria. The group includes Shigella sonnei (group D Shigella) that account for more than two-thirds of the shigellosis in the United States. A second type, S. flexneri (group B Shigella), accounts for almost all of the rest. other types of Shigella are rare in the United States, though they continue to be important causes of disease in the developing world.

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