Shigellosis Outbreak in the Wiregrass

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A highly contagious virus that causes flu-like symptoms has been reported in the Wiregrass.

It’s called shigellosis, and it can be passed from one person to another by merely a handshake.

Area 10 Nursing Director Eileen Rogers said, "Outbreaks occur in communities or can at any time during the year once the Shigella diarrheal illness becomes predominant or frequent in that community."

Doctors say, shigellosis is a food borne illness that accounts for less than 10 percent of the food borne illnesses in the United States.

Every year, an outbreak of shigella is possible in one or more of our Alabama communities.

And this year, 40 cases have already been reported in the Wiregrass.

Doctors say that the most common symptoms include diarrhea and a fever, lasting for four to seven days. However, there are ways to help prevent this disease.

Rogers says, "The most important thing you can remember is to wash your hands frequently, carefully, for at least 20 seconds with soap and running water or to use a bacterial hand sanitizer. Particularly after using the restroom, changing diapers, before you eat, and before preparing food."

With the shigella bacteria roaming around, it's important to wash your hands very frequently.

If you experience any of these symptoms lasting longer then two days, see a doctor.

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