Genesee County is seeing an increase in Shigella, a bacteria that causes gastrointestinal illness which includes mild to severe diarrhea, which has prompted an advisory for the public.
Other symptoms of shigellosis include fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps, and stools containing blood and/or mucus. Shigella cases are on the rise across Michigan, according to health officials.
Shigella is spread from person-to-person through a fecal-oral route. That is to say, the bacteria leaves an infected person’s body in the stool and are spread by contaminated hands, surfaces, food, or water.
The spread of Shigella bacteria can be stopped by practicing good hand hygiene. Proper hand washing takes at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water, including cleaning under the fingernails. This should be done after using the bathroom and before preparing or eating food. It is also important to shower often to maintain proper personal hygiene.
Those who are experiencing diarrhea should not handle food for others until they are found to be clear of the bacteria. Please watch for symptoms in your child and other family members.
If symptoms occur, consult your primary care physician or health care provider. As always, children and adults who are ill should stay home until all of their symptoms are gone and stools are normal for at least 48 hours.