Three West Michigan counties are experiencing a Shigella outbreak, the Muskegon Chronicle reports. 

Eight cases of shigella have been confirmed in Muskegon County, said county health department director Ken Kraus. He said Kent and Ottawa counties also have confirmed several cases of shigella.

Kraus said shigella was likely being spread in Muskegon County for a month before lab results confirmed the first case.

He said budget cuts in recent years forced the county to reassign four nurses who monitored communicable diseases, including shigella.


Muskegon County now has just one nurse to track communicable diseases. Due to limited funding, that nurse can only track disease outbreaks over the phone — instead of visiting schools and other places where large numbers of people congregate, Kraus said.

Two of the three counties (50 and 56 on the map) border on Lake Michigan, and the other is immediately adjacent to the other two (57). 

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