When we last left Muskegon County, Michigan’s emerging Shigella outbreak here in early November, there were eight confirmed cases.   As of last week, the number of confirmed cases stood at 47 on Thursday; most of the victims are under 10 years of age. Health officials confirmed 28 new cases in November and 13 during the first 10 days of December.

Now county health officials have enlisted volunteers from the American Red Cross, Access Health and Volunteer Muskegon are helping local health officials demonstrate proper hand washing at elementary schools across the county.


Hand washing is crucial because shigella spreads from person to person when hands, objects or food become contaminated with small amounts of fecal matter from those who are infected. The bacteria then spreads from hand to mouth and via food and drinks.

Health officials recommend that everyone wash their hands thoroughly with soap after going to the bathroom and before eating or preparing food. Children should dry their hands with paper towels to avoid spreading germs.

We add our assistance here with the chart above to illustrate proper hand washing. Go here for more about the campaign in Muskegon County.