SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A Mexican seafood restaurant in San Jose has been linked with nearly 200 people becoming sick, including dozens with a contagious diarrhoeal disease, Santa Clara County public health officials said Tuesday.

There are 188 people who have fallen ill in association with Mariscos San Juan .3 restaurant at 205 N. Fourth St., public health officials said.

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The total includes 150 Santa Clara County residents and 38 people in other counties, according to public health officials.

Laboratory tests have confirmed 85 of the cases to be shigella, with 65 within Santa Clara County and 20 combined in Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Alameda, Marin and Merced counties, public health officials said.

A majority of the sick ate at the restaurant on Oct. 16 or 17 before the location was closed on Oct. 18.

Santa Clara County’s Department of Environmental Health is investigating what led to the outbreak. An Oct. 18 inspection report posted online showed the restaurant did not properly cool food including shrimp broth and octopus.

People can catch shigella if they come into contact or digest food prepared by an infected person, public health officials said.

Those with the disease experience symptoms including diarrhea that can sometimes be bloody, fever, abdominal pain and vomiting within one to two days of exposure, public health officials said.

The symptoms can continue for five days to a week and people can fully recover, but their bowel behavior can take months to stabilize, public health officials said.

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The public has been advised to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to stop the disease from spreading, health officials said.

In Alameda County, 10 adults and a child were found with shigella, county public health spokeswoman Sherri Willis said.

Santa Cruz County has received reports of three confirmed shigella cases, two secondary cases and two suspected cases, public health spokeswoman Jessica Randolph said.

San Mateo County health officials said there are three shigella cases and they have not received any new reports since last Wednesday.

A Marin County family of four ate at the restaurant and one of them was found with shigella, deputy public health officer Lisa Santora said.

As of Monday, Merced County had two confirmed cases of shigella and four suspected cases, public health director Kathleen Grassi said.

One of the six people is a San Benito County resident who ate at the seafood eatery with one of the five Merced County residents, Grassi said.

Two San Jose men who suffered from shigella filed separate lawsuits last week alleging negligence by the restaurant’s owners, according to their attorneys from the firms Rains Lucia Stern and Marler Clark.

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