Officials with the Central Michigan District Health Department announced a case of the gastrointestinal illness, Shigellosis, in a student at G.T. Norman Elementary School in Reed City, MI.
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.
“You need to be really careful and take care and get things clean and educate the kids and educate the parents, It’s a hygiene issue and kids need to know that they need to wash their hands after they use the bathroom. That’s the biggest problem that causes this to spread around,”said school superintendent Tim Webster.
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.