According to press reports, two Maplewood Elementary School children have been infected with shigellosis, the illness caused by Shigella infection.  The Marion County Health Department contacted Maplewood officials on Wednesday, informing them that two students had contracted the illness; the school district launched an immediate review and response.

School district spokesman Kevin Christian said the bacteria were not found at the school. But since both cases involved Maplewood students, officials decided to clean the school for the safety of the students. It sent a team of custodians to scrub the school and cafeteria just in case the bacteria originated there.

Christian said the illness is more common in the day-care setting.

The school district also sent an Alert Now message and a letter to Maplewood parents.

Superintendent of Schools Jim Yancey said the district does not know who the children are since, by law, the Health Department could not disclose those names.

Yancey said the district response was phenomenal. He said he was worried because of the profoundly disabled young students at the school. He wanted to make sure the bacteria, if any, was eliminated quickly.

“It sounds like they did a good job,” said School Board Chairwoman Judi Zanetti.

Yancey said health officials say only 14,000 shigellosis cases are reported annually in the United States.