SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The U.S. Marine Corps said a diarrheal illness has affected approximately 302 recruits at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, as of Oct. 31. The majority of the more than 5,500 recruits currently in training are unaffected and training as scheduled. The source of the outbreak is under investigation and some of the cases are infected with the Shiga toxin causing E.coli bacteria.
"Our immediate focus is identifying, isolating and treating recruits who present symptoms," said Brig. Gen. William Jurney, commanding general, MCRD San Diego and the Western Recruiting Region. "We are working to identify the cause of the sickness, making sure our affected recruits can return to training as soon as possible and continuing training for recruits not influenced."
Cases have presented at both MCRD San Diego and the command's field training facilities at Edson Range, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Limited cases were reported in the previous six days with a spike in cases reported yesterday. Ten recruits have been admitted to an off-base medical facility while the remainder are being cared for aboard the base.
The command is currently investigating the source of the outbreak, but the following preventative actions have been taken as a response:
- Separation and treatment protocols which isolates recruits presenting symptoms and limits interaction with unaffected recruits.
- Increased hygiene requirements focusing on handwashing.
- Enhanced facilities cleaning to ensure proper sanitation and hygiene in all areas.
- Increased inspections of barracks, chow halls and common areas by Naval Medical Center San Diego's Preventative Medicine Unit.
- The dissemination of guidance on identifying possible symptoms to proactively seek treatment for potential cases.
Family members will be contacted by the command if a recruit's graduation date changes due to missed training resulting from sickness.
Additional updates will be provided to keep families informed until the outbreak subsides.
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