The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is continuing to see cases in Northeast Arkansas of Shigellosis, an infectious disease that commonly causes diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Shigellosis is caused by the Shigella bacteria and is very contagious. The ADH urges residents to wash their hands and take other protective measures to keep Shigella from spreading.
In Louisiana, Dr. Anatole Karpovs, pediatrician with The Children’s Clinic of Southwest Louisiana, has been treating young patients with shigellosis, caused by a group of bacteria called shigella.
“It causes specifically diarrhea and high fevers,” said Dr. Karpovs “It sometimes causes bloody diarrhea or pus or mucus in the diarrhea.”
Dr. Karpovs says most people infected with shigella start experiencing these symptoms within a day or two of exposure to the bacteria. It spreads easily through fecal-oral routes.
“If a child has diarrhea and that spreads or gets on a surface and somebody touches it unknowingly, then they can spread it to themselves or other people,” he said.
Anyone can be infected, but some people might not even know it.
Those most at risk are people with weakened immune systems, the elderly, and the young.