Oct 19, 2005, 03:09 AM
Parent Reaction to Local Shigellosis Cases
2 Local Confirmed Cases of Shigellosis
The Jackson County Health Department says they have two new cases of shigellosis. Two kids have contracted the contagious virus that causes vomiting, fever, stomach cramps and diarrhea. You’ll remember last school year, more than 100 Ingham County kids and 67 Jackson residents came down with the virus. Health officials say it’s too early determine if the problem will be of similar proportions this year.

Mary Ricciardello, Jackson County Health Department: “P eople need to be aware that it is still in the community, but at this point, it is not cause for alarm.”
Jackson County went months without any reports involving the shigella bacteria. Because of that, they’re calling these most-recent cases unrelated to the earlier outbreak. However, they are asking schools and parents to take special precautions.
Schools are simply reminding students to wash their hands. They say washing for 30 seconds will kill the bacteria that can lead to shigella sickness, b ut the schools also say they can only do so much. Students are in the classroom no more than 7 or 8 hours a day.
Health officials say it’s also important for kids to take the lessons from school home with them. That means it’s up to the parents to make sure that no matter where kids are, they wash their hands before they eat. One parent told us it’s a lesson he already teaches to his 4 kids, b ut the most-recent cases of shigella only give him more reason to do so.
Richard Stull, parent: “I tell them every day before they eat, and basically tell them when they go to the bathroom. I’m going to make sure I let them know every time. I’m going to pay a little more attention now.”
With just 2 cases, the health department’s not calling this an outbreak yet. They say, despite it being highly contagious, it can be contained. Just remember wash your hands before you eat and after you go to the bathroom.