Several students have been diagnosed with Shigella in at least two elementary schools in New Hanover County, according to school officials.

The school board called parents Monday night to explain the condition. Symptoms of Shigella include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps.

According to the message, New Hanover County schools and the New Hanover County Health Department are working together to control the spread of the condition.

They say the key to prevention of transmission is hand washing and good sanitation. To scrub away germs make sure your children wash their hands in warm water with soap for about 20 seconds, making sure to get in between the fingers and under the nails. Rinse and dry with a clean towel.