The Winnebago County Health Department is reporting additional cases of Shigellosis in our community, bringing the new total to 152, since October 2015. The majority of these cases are isolated and have impacted in children in daycare and elementary schools.

Todd Kisner with the Department’s Center for Health Protection says the best way to prevent the disease, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting, is to enforce routine handwashing, particularly among children.

“When it comes to children, supervision of handwashing may be more appropriate now because not all kids are perfect handwashers yet,” he says.

While an increase in cases is likely over the next few weeks, Kisner says it’s due to doctors performing more routine testing. However, he addds that Kisner says with effective hygiene practices, lingering shigella bacteria won’t live long enough to spread further.