At least two confirmed cases of Shigellosis have been reported in students from an Edmonton school and health officials are investigating other possible cases, according to a CBC news report Saturday.
McKernan School, in the center of the city, has students through 9th grade.
Health officials continue their investigation into the size, scope and source of the infection.
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.
Because Shigella is resistant to gastric acid, a person can get infected with as little as 10 organisms.
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.