Local health district warns of Shigellosis increase - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

MCLENNAN COUNTY

Local health district warns of Shigellosis increase

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MCLENNAN COUNTY - McLennan County Public Health Officials are alerting you about a spike in the number of Shigellosis cases, a dysentery-type disease, that's making kids sick.

The number of cases has more than tripled already this year. There were only 27 cases in 2013, which is about average, compared to more than 80 so far this year.

Shigellosis disease is a bacterial infection that causes fever, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps shortly after being exposed.

75 percent of confirmed cases have been in kids under the age of 10 and toddler’s ages 2-4 years old have the highest risk of catching it and spreading it to others.

Spokeswoman for McLennan County Public Health District, Kelly Craine, says cases have been reported all over the county.

"We investigate every case that is reported to us and we're not seeing it in one particular spot. We're not seeing any kind of unique traits or markers or locations."

Shigellosis isn't normally deadly, but is spread through food, water and physical contact.

Though this disease is easily spread, it's also simple to stop if you just wash your hands frequently and avoid anyone who's sick.

Out of the 84 cases so far this year, more than half were reported in just the last two months and health officials say this may be the beginning of the peak.

Here are some tips from the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District for preventing the spread of Shigellosis:
  • 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 hand washing of toddlers and small children after they use the toilet.
  • Do not prepare food for others while ill with diarrhea.
  • Avoid swallowing water from ponds, lakes, or untreated pools.
  • Do not allow children with diarrhea symptoms to share bathwater or go swimming with others until the symptoms are clear.
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