After seeing the number of Shigella cases drop to just nine cases in 2005, ten in 2006, and eight in 2007, an outbreak last year got out of control in Columbus, Ohio.

It turned into 524 confirmed cases in 2008. Now, Columbus Public Health officials say the Shigella outbreak is not over. There’s been another 91 through March 5, 2009.

Writing in The Columbus Dispatch, Misti Crane reports:

A shigellosis outbreak that began sickening hundreds of people in Franklin County last summer is still spreading, and city health officials have bumped up efforts to stop it. Cases related to the outbreak have now topped 600. Already this year, 91 cases have been reported.

Shigellosis is an infection caused by a group of bacteria called shigella that cause often-bloody diarrhea that can last about a week. Antibiotics sometimes are prescribed.

Because it’s easily transmitted through feces, the main way to cease its spread is through vigilant hand washing. 

See more from the Dispatch here.