Health Department: 19 hospitalized after 'exposure to feces' at potluck

- At least 19 people have been hospitalized with symptoms of the infection, shigella, after being 'exposed to feces' while at a neighborhood potluck Sunday in east Charlotte, according to the Mecklenburg County Public Health Department. 

According to Medic, multiple 911 calls were made Sunday, July 1 from the Forest Hills Townhomes in the 6500 block of Four Seasons Lane. All patients reported feeling sick. According to the health department, about 33 people went to area hospitals, with at least 18 people being admitted to Novant Health and 1 at Atrium Health.

"Sad. Bad." That's how Bhija Rai describes how she feels. She attended the potluck and birthday celbration Saturday and came down with diarrhea and a fever on Sunday.

The sickness didn't come from bad food, but from someone who had the illness not washing their hands properly before preparing the food, according to the health department.

Four people have tested positive for shigella, and several people, including a child, are in the hospital in intensive care, health officials say.

Symptoms of shigella include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever and headaches.

Medic deployed their mass casualty bus Sunday to respond to the scene. 

About 100 people were reported to be at the neighborhood cookout. 

If you have questions or concerns, call 980-314-1620. 

To watch Mecklenburg County Public Health Department's news conference, click here:

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