"You have died of Dysentery" Most of you will remember the classic line from the Oregon Trail game played by students across North America in the 1990's and early 2000's. Recently the University of Maryland adopted the infamous line for a new ad campaign. They are looking for volunteers to test a newly developed shigella vaccine. Shigella being the bacteria that causes dysentery and was a plight to the original colonizers of North America and to many people around the globe to this day.
What is Shigella bacteria?
Shigella bacteria are found in feces. The bacteria can contaminate food and water sources easily and infect a population quickly. Shigella bacteria only effect's primates and is most commonly found naturally in human beings and Gorillas. Other mammals are not affected by the bacteria. Closely related to the infamous E-Coli bacteria, Shigella is less known but more common. Shigella causes an estimated 74,000 to 600,000 deaths per year. It is the leading cause of diarrhea in African and South Asian Countries.
The university of Maryland in Baltimore, MD have developed a potential vaccine for this potentially deadly bacterial infection and are now accepting volunteers to ingest Shigella Vaccine to test of the vaccine will prevent or lessen the infection and symptoms. The success of this vaccine will save thousands of lives around the world every year. With every vaccine created there are other issues that are triggered including healthcare logistics and transportation. It is not currently known what temperature the Shigella vaccine will have to be stored and transported at, but rest assured there are solutions available. A majority of locations that this vaccine will be needed are remote and will need cold chain solutions regardless of what temperature the vaccine will have to be stored at. Two possible options are using Chilly Moose Rotomolded Coolers and Portable Fridge-Freezers to store and deliver Shigella Vaccines. These affordable and reliable coolers have been used previously to transport vaccines and medications across Canada and would be a suitable solution for healthcare workers in remote communities around the globe.
Recently one of the volunteers has live tweeted (@wokeglobaltimes) his experience after ingesting the live Shigella bacteria. His posts have now literally gone viral with updates on what someone infected with the bacteria goes through. The 26 year old Jake Eberts who recently went through the program has had his eyes opened to how important it is to develop a vaccine for the infection.
"That was the most brutally sick I have ever been, and I wanted to die for a solid six hours. I cannot imagine how terrifying this disease is for a small child." Jake Eberts after ingesting Shigella for the study
It has inspired him to help fundraise to help fund clean water programs in Africa with The Water Project
to help remove some of the risk of Shigella in at risk communities until a viable vaccine is available.
For More information and updates on the status of this study please visit
To try your hand at the Oregon Trail Game to see how you would have fared in the new world against Shigella virus please click the link below.
Oregon Trail Game
To Donate to the Water Project please go to:
Chilly Moose Rotomolded Coolers are available from: