Tahlequah, Oklahoma is probably best known  for being the headquarters of the Cherokee Nation. Yesterday, the Tahlequah Daily Press reported that a pre-school there sent its students home after one was infected with "a common bacteria"—shigella.

Just how "common" is shigella in Oklahoma?   The Oklahoma Department of Health reports there were 575 confirmed cases of shigella reported in the state, on an average annual basis, from 2001 to 2005.   The data is contained in the department’s Epidemiology Bulletin, Vol. 38, No. 3 found here.

Meanwhile,  Josh Newton at the Tahlequah Daily Press reports that:

Students at the Cookson Hills Head Start program at Keys School were sent home Monday when school officials learned one of the children had developed a bacterial infection common in Oklahoma.
Keys Superintendent Jerry Hood said the child became ill and had frequent bouts of diarrhea. The seven children in the program Monday were sent home, while the school called in a crew to sterilize the classrooms and carpet, as required in such situations.
Health officials confirmed after the cleaning process that the room was bacteria-free.
The ill child apparently had Shigellosis, a common infection of the gut caused by the Shigella bacteria.

The rest of the story can be found here.