jpgThe Okaloosa County Health Department (OCHD) is reporting an increase in Shigella cases county-wide, with 49 laboratory confirmed and probable cases since the beginning of this year. Since 2000, Okaloosa County has averaged 3 cases of Shigella per year (range 0 – 7). The health department has been working diligently to implement prevention and control measures with child care centers, community health care providers, congregate living facilities, and the Department of Children and Families.

Shigella is a group of bacterial that causes shigellosis. Shigellosis is usually a mild, self-resolving diarrheal illness (meaning the body will fight off the infection without treatment). Most people recover completely within 4 to 7 days. After a person is infected, symptoms may develop within 1 to 3 days. The diarrhea is watery and sometimes bloody. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and fever. Some people never develop any symptoms after being infected.