The City of Lubbock Health Department has reported an increase in cases of shigellosis, a diarrheal illness that can last from four to seven days.

Between September and October 21 cases were reported. That is a sharp increase from 2018, when only three cases of shigellosis were reported, according to the City of Lubbock.

The bacteria that causes the illness, called Shigella, is spread person-to-person through the unwashed hands of an infected person.

City officials recommend always washing hands before eating or handling food, after using the toilet, after infant diaper changes and frequently during the day.

Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever, nausea and vomiting. Once a person is exposed symptoms usually develop within one to three days.

People with diarrheal illnesses of any kind, which include shigellosis, should not attend work, school or daycare until they are free from symptoms for at least 24 hours.