October 23, 2004
By Kevin Grasha
Lansing State Journal
Ingham County health officials are focusing on the period between Oct. 12 and Oct. 15 in trying to determine what caused a shige-llosis outbreak in at least one Lansing elementary school.
Dr. Dean Sienko, the county’s medical director, said of the 31 cases initially suspected to be shigellosis, 18 were reported Oct. 15, the most on any one day.
The disease, which is caused by the shigella germ, has an incubation period of one to three days, he said.
“That’s where we’re leaning in our analysis,” Sienko said.
Lab tests confirmed two more cases were caused by shigella bacteria, Sienko said Friday, bringing the total to six confirmed cases.
The remaining 25 still are considered suspicious illnesses, he added.
All of the confirmed cases involve students at Lansing’s Willow Elementary School.
Several suspected cases also were reported from Sheridan Road Elementary.
Sienko said shigellosis is typically caused by food that is consumed unheated or raw, such as lettuce or fruit.
This weekend, investigators will interview families to try to determine the source.
“We’ll be interviewing both sick children and well children, and do statistical magic to see if any food is implicated,” said Diane Gorch, who supervises the food safety program for the Ingham County Health Department.
Lansing schools spokesman Mark Mayes said that the district is has temporarily stopped serving fresh fruit and produce at the schools.
Contact Kevin Grasha at 267-1347 or email@example.com.