St. Louis County sees increase in Shigella among kids

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(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The St. Louis County Department of Public Health is warning parents of young children after seeing an increase in cases of Shigella (shigellosis) in daycare and school age kids.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Shigella is a bacterial infection that can be easily spread from person-to-person. The primary symptom is diarrhea, but other symptoms include: stomach cramping, nausea, fever, and vomiting.

The health department is asking residents take the following precautions to stop the spread of shigellosis:

  • The most effective method to stop the spread of Shigella is with proper hand washing.
  • Parents should make sure children with diarrhea do not attend school or daycare.
  • Schools, daycares, restaurants, and healthcare facilities should exclude individuals with diarrhea from attendance or work, and those individuals diagnosed with Shigella will remain excluded until released back to work or attendance by the local department of health
  • Every effort should be made to maintain the highest level of sanitation in each center by reinforcing the need for frequent hand washing and for the careful attention to disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.
  • If a person has been ill, he or she should refrain from recreational water venues for one week after all symptoms resolve.
  • If a healthcare provider suspects a diagnosis of shigellosis, it should be reported immediately to the Saint Louis County Department of Health by calling 314-615-1630 so that measures to prevent the spread can be rapidly undertaken.