Linda Shrieves of the Orlando Sentinel reports that Orange County health officials are reporting a Shigella outbreak across the county, and say the diarrhea-causing germ is commonly spread at day-care centers and preschools.
So far this year, there have been 78 reported cases of shigella in Orange County. Last year at this time, the county had four reported cases.
“This is one of those bacteria that causes what most people know as stomach flu, but it can be very serious,” said Dain Weister, spokesman for the Orange County Health Department. “This can cause diarrhea, but also bloody diarrhea. It’s worse than your mild case of gastrointestinal upset.”
In addition to diarrhea, other shigellosis symptoms include fever, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. Most cases are mild, lasting several days to weeks, but severe complications such as dehydration can occur. The condition usually resolves in five to seven days, and rarely requires hospitalization.