The Coastal Health District has released the following:
SAVANNAH, GAó Several school-aged children in the Richmond Hill area of Bryan County are reporting gastrointestinal illness. Four have been positively diagnosed with shigellosis, a bacterial infection affecting the intestinal tract. Symptoms often include mild to severe diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Most people recover on their own within 5-7 days, but in severe cases hospitalization and fluids are sometimes necessary.
The Shigella bacteria are passed in stool. Shigella are sometimes spread among diapered children, or by an infected person who doesnít properly wash his or her hands after using the restroom. ìThe best way to avoid getting shigellosis is to wash your hands well, and wash them often,î says Cristina Pasa, epidemiologist with the Coastal Health District. ìUse warm water and soap and scrub your hands for at least 15 seconds before rinsing.î
The Health District, Bryan County Health Department, and the Bryan County Board of Education are working together to monitor the illness and curb the spread.
If you suspect an infection:
ï Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
ï Wash your hands often, and donít serve food to other people.
ï If the illness is severe, see your doctor for antibiotics or fluids.
ï If the infection is in a child, report it to the school nurse or daycare provider.
If you have any questions about shigellosis, contact your doctorís office, your local health department, or read more at www.cdc.gov.