First, this is the 250th posting on the Shigella Blog since it was founded on March 10, 2005. We’ve tried to provide useful news, comment and analysis on this nasty bug. We are pleased with the comments and trust you will continue to give us feedback as we go forward.

Let us continue. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has its thinking hat on by coming up with a list of diseases that the whole state should try and avoid in 2009. Shigella and Norovirus made the list. IDPH says:

Norovirus causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. Outbreaks have been associated with food and water, but most norovirus infections are spread from person to person, especially among family members. Shigellosis results in severe diarrhea which can be bloody and fever. Shigella is easily spread from person to person. To prevent both norovirus and shigella:

  • Anyone who is ill with diarrhea, vomiting or fever should stay home and not work with food, the elderly, in health care or child care.
  • Good hand washing must be done every time people use the toilet, change a diaper, or before they eat or prepare any food.
  • Infants and children must also have their hands washed after diapers have been changed or after using the toilet, and before eating.

For more from IDPH on what to avoid in this New Year, go here.