The San Joaquin County Public Health Services has seen an increase in the number of cases of Shigella in the county this year. So far, 66 people have come down with the bacteria-caused disease. Historically, the county only sees about 10 case of the disease per year.

Shigellosis is a highly infectious disease that causes stomach cramping, mild or severe diarrhea and fever. Symptoms often occur within a week after exposure, but usually within three days and usually lasts four to seven days.

The disease is the result of a bacteria that passes from improperly washed hands of one person to the mouth of another person, often through handling contaminated objects or food. The disease is especially easily passed among childcare professionals and food preparers.