An increase in cases of the gastrointestinal infection, Shigellosis, has prompted Laredo health officials to encourage people to be mindful of where they eat.
As reported on LMT Online Tuesday, the Laredo Health Department says they have confirmed 68 cases to date.
Health officials are advising the public to only eat at approved restaurants and vendors. “We want the public to ask the owner and mobile vendor for proof of permits,” the department said. “They should be visible for the public to see and to report any illegal vendor to 311 and/or the Health Department.”
Shigellosis is spread from person-to-person through the fecal-oral route. The bacteria can be transferred easily among children because of their poor hand washing habits and tendency to put things in their mouths. People can also become infected by consuming food or drinks prepared by an infected person or handling or cleaning up feces.
Symptoms usually begin 24 to 72 hours after exposure and last about four to seven days without treatment; however, severe infections may require antibiotics.
The CDC offers the following recommendations for preventing the spread of Shigella: Wash hands with soap carefully and frequently, especially after going to the bathroom, after changing diapers, and before preparing foods or beverages; Dispose of soiled diapers properly; Disinfect diaper changing areas after using them; Keep children with diarrhea out of child care settings; Supervise handwashing of toddlers and small children after they use the toilet; Do not prepare food for others while ill with diarrhea and avoid swallowing water from ponds, lakes, or untreated pools.