Health department cites almost 80 cases of shigella, which can cause diarrhea, stomach pain and fever

An outbreak of a diarrheal infection has hit daycares across the county the past few months, according to the Citrus County Health Department.

Since January there have been almost 80 confirmed cases of shigella and about 30 other possible cases, assistant director of nursing Virginia Crandall said.

Shigella is an infection caused by a bacteria and can be easily passed from one person to another. Symptoms typically include diarrhea, which may include blood or mucous, abdomi-nal pain and fever. Symptoms typically begin within one to seven days of exposure and range from mild to severe.

“This is not a germ that we’ve seen very much in the last few years in Citrus County,” Crandall said.

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